The amount of time applicants are required to wait when appealing UK visa decisions in Britain has increased by 45 per cent in the past 12 months, according to new figures.
The Ministry of Justice has revealed that the average applicant is now waiting an average of a year for the processing of their appeal, up from 31 weeks in the previous year, as a result UK visa officials prioritising the reduction of their outstanding cases.
Figures also revealed that around half of the appeals are successful, forcing the applicants to postpone their life decisions for up to a year despite having the legal right to be in Britain.
According to the Ministry of Justice, the rise in appeal waiting times also coincides with a decrease in the number of people filing appeals, which has reduced significantly from 25,000 in 2014 to 7,000 in 2016.
Commenting on the statistics, UK immigration and asylum barrister Colin Yeo stated that the wait is a “cruel” delay for those putting their life plans on hold while they wait for the results of their appeal.
“It’s particularly cruel for those looking to come to the UK, often to join family members, and having to wait months and months for an appeal hearing,” he said.
“They have to put their life on hold,” he added. “And if they lose their appeal, then it means they’re hanging around for longer, which isn’t in the government’s interest.”
However, Mr Yeo argues that there is little evidence that the Home Office if attempting to rectify the delay, stating that he feels there’s little evidence the government “has much interest in appeal times”.