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The Special Immigration Appeals Commission

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 14 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Appeals Immigration Citizenship Decision

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) is a higher court which deals with appeals against some or all decisions to:

  • Deport someone from the UK on the basis of national security or for other public interest reasons;
  • Exclude someone, or prevent them entering the UK, for national security or public interest reasons;
  • Deprive someone of UK citizenship on the basis that is for the public good to do so.

The Structure of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission

The SIAC consists of a panel of three members. One of these will previously have been a judge in a higher court, one will be a legally qualified member of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and one member will usually have experience of national security issues.

SIAC hearings are theoretically open to the public but may be held in private if it is felt necessary to do so for public interest reasons. Individuals bringing appeals to the SIAC will usually do so anonymously but appellants may agree to have their name published.

Special Advocates and the Special Immigration Appeals Commission

In some cases a decision to deport or deprive an individual of their citizenship may be based on evidence which is so sensitive that the government does not wish it to be revealed to the individual bringing the appeal, or to the public. In such cases the SIAC will appoint a Special Advocate to represent the appellant.

A Special Advocate is an independent barrister who has been given security clearance to deal with such cases. An appellant in such a case may be given a list of Special Advocates from which he can choose his representative. The Special Advocate will then be shown the secret evidence and will prepare the case and make submissions to the SIAC based on this evidence. Any appeal hearings which refer to the secret evidence will take place in the absence of the appellant and his usual legal representative.

Appealing to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission

Where the Home Office or the Secretary of State makes a decision to deport or deprive an individual of their citizenship on the basis that it is for the public good to do so, a letter will be provided outlining the decision and notifying the individual of their rights of appeal.

The appellant, or their representative, must then fill in a notice of appeal to the SIAC setting out the grounds of their appeal. They must attach to the notice of appeal any additional documents on which they intend to rely and the notice or letter setting out the decision against which they are appealing.

The length of time an individual has to file an appeal depends on whether or not they are in the UK or being held in detention. It varies from 5 days for those being held in detention in the UK to 28 days for those outside the UK. The period begins from when the decision was “served” on the individual – generally speaking if the decision was sent by post to a UK address the decision is said to have been served two days after the date on the letter.

Appeals Against a Decision to Take Away Citizenship

The Secretary of State has the power to remove an individual’s UK citizenship if he considers it in the interests of the public good to do so. However, an individual may not be deprived of citizenship in this way if he would be rendered stateless by the removal of his UK citizenship.

When seeking to deprive an individual of his UK citizenship the Secretary of State must certify that such an action will further the public good. If the Secretary of State certifies that his decision is based to any extent on information which should be kept private, an appeal against the decision will be heard by the SIAC.

Appealing Against a Decision by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission

An individual whose appeal to the SIAC is unsuccessful may appeal against it on the basis that the decision was wrong as a matter of law. Such an appeal would be made to the Court of Appeal. To bring an appeal against a decision by the SIAC the appellant must first get permission from either the SIAC itself or from the Court of Appeal.

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I have a very complicated situation. I am Bulgarian. Came to UK 2008 with polish husband and son born in Australian but polish by passport.Got divorce right after arrivalSince 2008 Ihave being afull-time student as now Igraduated my Master course. I never had private health insurance as I didn't know. However, after my divorce, I applied and got Blue permanent certificate. I made my application to the Home office for permanent residency and got refused because I did not have insurance. I started work recently and have only 6 months employment. My son will be 10. Lawyer advise me to apply for his documents first and later try to get my paper sorted. How to approach the problem?
Madlena - 14-Mar-17 @ 6:55 PM
ALI - Your Question:
My ex hb become british citizen in 2007, I am from Europa. Our daughter was born in 2008. Shes british citizen.I was at home with my daughter.My ex hb was work. In 2012 February I applied for Jsa till 2015 may. I divorced from my hb in 2014. From 2015 I am self employed. Do I entitled for permanent residency?

Our Response:
If you are an EU member, please see gov.uk link here which will outline your rights.
AboutImmigration - 9-Dec-16 @ 11:50 AM
My ex hb become british citizen in 2007, I am from Europa . Our daughter was born in 2008. Shes british citizen.Iwas at home with my daughter.My ex hb was work. In 2012February I applied for Jsa till 2015 may. I divorced from my hb in 2014. From 2015 I am self employed. Do I entitled for permanent residency?
ALI - 8-Dec-16 @ 9:55 PM
Anubhav - Your Question:
My wife UK citizenship she married with me on 2013. Brought me on 2015 in spouse visa. Her bad behavior with me. I don't want to live with her. Now she wants to give me divorce. She wants to cancel my visa. What will happen with me. My business closed in India. What I will do the next step for staying here or working here. I am suffering a lots this embracing situation. Mentally disturbe. Can't think about my future life. What will be happen. Guide me what I will do.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot anticipate what the UKVI will decide, but if you are separated from your wife you have to let the Home Office know, please see link here. You may also find out more information regarding your situation via the CAB link here . If you have work or children as a result of your marriage, this will help.
AboutImmigration - 2-Aug-16 @ 10:22 AM
My wife UK citizenship she married with me on 2013.. Brought me on 2015 in spouse visa... Her bad behavior with me.. I don't want to live with her..Now she wants to give me divorce.. She wants to cancel my visa.. What will happen with me... My business closed in India..What I will do the next step for staying here or working here..I am suffering a lots this embracing situation..Mentally disturbe.. Can't think about my future life. What will be happen... Guide me what I will do..
Anubhav - 1-Aug-16 @ 9:05 AM
Wullie - Your Question:
I'm an American that came to Britain in 1975 with my British mother and American father is was 5 years old. I'm now 46 years old been married to my British wife for 27 years we have two daughters and two grandchildren and would like to become British but everyone wants £2000 I've been working since I was 12 years old with paper rounds and when I turned 16 have worked full time and paid taxes and can't vote in Britain due to this I hope someone can shed some light on this. Thanks

Our Response:
I'm afraid regardless of the length of time you have been resident in the country, you will still have to go through the immigration procedure to claim British citizenship and you will have to pay.
AboutImmigration - 3-Jun-16 @ 2:41 PM
I'm an American that came to Britain in 1975 with my British mother and American father is was 5 years old. I'm now 46 years old been married to my British wife for 27 years we have two daughters and two grandchildren and would like to become British but everyone wants £2000 I've been working since I was 12 years old with paper rounds and when I turned 16 have worked full time and paid taxes and can't vote in Britain due to this I hope someone can shed some light on this. Thanks
Wullie - 3-Jun-16 @ 11:11 AM
Please guide me on getting parents citizenship, as i am having british nationalty slready.
Zuneira - 15-Sep-15 @ 10:05 PM
@confused - I am sorry to hear of the treatment you received, I can only suggest that you take it to complaints and appeal in order to find your answers, as I'm afraid this is an area we have no personal knowledge on. I hope you manage to find the answers you require.
AboutImmigration - 20-Mar-15 @ 11:06 AM
I am a U.S. citizen.I have not nor ever have had a criminal record.I am a 39 year old woman. My father, who's now retired, was a police officer, who at one point worked on the drug enforcement team.My husband is a well paid radiographer supports me fully in everything. I have Asperger's syndrome, Epilepsy and Systematic Lupus. I am, after years of struggling and having not understood what many issues in life were caused by, am now on a voyage of self discovery, learning to face the world as well as the life long time of fears by: meeting/going to autism groups, meeting my friends who are Autistic/Aspies as well, traveling and in general, standing on my "own" 2 feet and facing people and all my long lived fears at last!! My family "FULLY" supports my finding myself in this way. My first trip abroad to the UK, "by myself," arriving "terrified" but determined was on Nov 20th, 2014.I was given a 6 month visa stamp in my passport. On February the 23rd, 2015 I returned back to the UK because my Best Friend fell severly ill, had surgery, as it is, a catheter bag had been placed and had it in the entire 3 months I was in the UK, was now filling with blood on a Constant basis. On the morning of the 23rd around 6:45, I was stopped at Terminal 5 by immigration border officers and can only say that their behaviour defies belief.I was treated what felt like a criminal would be treated.I was interrogated by them and was "denied entry." I was humiliated, they treated me like a common everyday criminal and yet they found nothing in my luggage or on me, only after searching me and than tearing through my suitcases and telling me to pack them back up, while reading my "personal" letters and the Titles of my autism/aspergers books "out loud."Mind you this was all done in front of the world to see, all while passengers were walking by and were able to see "EVERY" last item I had in my luggage that was spread out onto long wide tables. They wouldn't give me a calling card to call my people back in the U.S. (which was suppose to be given when paid for) as stated right on the pay phone in the large room I was held in!! They told me they were all out of them, I was ONLY allowed to give them 1 # of a person in the UK to call that phone in the room! I didn't know any of my phone numbers because my cell phone battery was dead (and I am unable to remember phone numbers) plus, I only had an Amercan charger. They sent me to Chicago, Illinois yet I live in Kalamazoo Michigan!They said I had to get my "OWN" flight back to Kalamazoo because my last flight was from Chicago.Mind you, I came from Kalamazoo, my ticket stated this!! Kalamazoo is 3 and a half hours from Chicago, IL.Also, they would "NOT" tell me what terminal I would be flying into, they said they couldn't tell me until they escorted me to my plane that took me back home. Why? Which obviously by then it would be to late to tell anyone back home in the U.S. what terminal
confused - 17-Mar-15 @ 10:31 PM
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