§ Mr. Keetch
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a delay to the date for an appeal hearing with the Immigration Service can be granted if a claimant has not received a decision letter on time from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Browne
Timeous receipt of the decision letter by the applicant is of no relevance to whether a delay to the date for an appeal hearing may be granted. No appeal hearing can be fixed until an appeal has been lodged. Receipt of a decision determines the start of the time limits that apply to lodging an appeal as set out in my answer to the hon. Member on 13 April 2004,Official Report, 420 column 86W.
The date of appeal hearings are not the responsibility of the Immigration Service or any other part of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate. They are the responsibility of the independent Immigration Appellate Authority. The appeal would not be listed for hearing until it has been received by the Immigration Appellate Authority. A party to the appeal can request an adjournment of the hearing to a later date, but only if they can show good reason why an adjournment is necessary, and have satisfied the adjudicator or Tribunal that the appeal cannot otherwise be justly determined.