Expert Evidence In Immigration Applications And Appeals

Published date11 October 2021
Subject MatterCorporate/Commercial Law, Compliance, Corporate and Company Law, Directors and Officers, Shareholders
Law FirmRichmond Chambers Immigration Barristers
AuthorMs Alexandra Pease

We recently examined, in Parts One, Two, Three and Four of our Practical Guide to Immigration Appeals and in First-tier Tribunal Onward Immigration Appeals - A Practical Guide, how and on what basis an immigration appeal can be pursued. We have examined both legal and practical considerations for an appeal.

One of the considerations for an appeal might be the use of expert evidence, usually in the form of a written report.

Expert evidence can also be relied on in support of an application: e.g. a country expert report, expert medical report or an independent social worker's report, containing the expert's opinion on matters relevant to the application and which requires specialist knowledge.

When Might I Need To Consider Expert Evidence?

Expert medical evidence can assist in various cases. For adult dependent relative applications, evidence from a healthcare professional is required to demonstrate long-term personal care is needed and that care is either not available or affordable in the applicant's country of residence. A country expert report commenting on the availability of care may bolster a case.

Expert medical evidence can also be sought and relied on in asylum cases involving torture and scarring. Cases involving mental or neurocognitive disorders are likely to benefit from expert psychiatric evidence. A case involving family relationships and, often, children might be assisted by an independent social worker's report.

It is crucial, whether reliance on that evidence is specified as mandatory or not, that consideration be given to whether expert evidence may assist in the arguments to be advanced in a case.

The consideration of a combination of reports from individuals with different areas of expertise can often be useful in supporting and presenting a case. This involves careful planning and you may wish to seek advice from a lawyer on how to present your case or argue your appeal.

What Do I Need to Consider When Using Expert Medical Evidence?

The Home Office recently issued new guidance titled Medical evidence in asylum claims, on 05 August 2021. Although this applies to asylum claims, it contains useful information that could be applied to other areas.

This provides guidance to caseworkers on how to approach medical evidence, on deciding a claim without waiting for medical evidence, allowing more time to gather such evidence and in cases where medical evidence is received after the agreed deadline.

The guidance contains a section on...

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