It is very clear that Immigration judges in the First-Tier Tribunals are currently in high demand. Tribunals are specialist bodies which make judicial decisions in relation to a certain area of law, in this case, we are focusing on Immigration.
Over these past few weeks an additional 21 immigration judges have been appointed in the First-Tier Tribunals. In addition to this, 10 immigration judges were appointed in December 2019. These appointments may be due to a recent floodgate of Immigration & Asylum appeals waiting to be heard. As of recent, the average waiting time for appeals to be heard in the immigration tribunal is approximately 48 weeks. Although, waiting times do vary depending on the Immigration matter. It is apparent that entry clearance and family visit visa cases have taken the longest to process and be heard in the court. It is expected for waiting times to be reduced as there are now additional judges to hear and decide on these types of cases. It is also evident from the candidates selected for the judgeship, the diversity amongst judges in the First-Tier Tribunals are improving further. It is interesting to see both men and women of different ages and legal professions be granted their Judgeship. Today, we have a mixture of Barristers, Solicitors, Legal Executives, Home Office Presenting Officers, and Home Office Policy Officials all recently appointed as Judges in the First-Tier Tribunal.