Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber: Guidance note on CE-File and electronic bundles

Immigration and Asylum Chamber (Upper Tribunal)Practice Guidance

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  1. This note contains guidance (issued under paragraph 7 of schedule 4 to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007) for users of the Upper Tribunal (IAC) on two separate but related matters. The first part concerns the CE-File system. The second part concerns electronic bundles. The guidance applies to all cases in the UTIAC, whether it is sitting in its appellate or judicial review capacity.


  1. This guidance supplements the CE-File Practice Direction issued by the Senior President on Tribunals on 31 August 2023, with which represented parties and bodies amenable to judicial review must be familiar.
  2. To use CE-File to file documents electronically, USERS must first register as an E-Filer by following the instructions described at E-Filing – Login (cefile-app.com)
  3. Any application for permission to appeal, which is (i) made to the UTIAC; or (ii) granted by the First-tier Tribunal will be assigned a CE-File reference, as will any application for judicial review.
  4. CE-File references for judicial review matters are in the form JR-2021-YYY-XXXXXX. CE-File references for statutory appeal matters are in the form UI-2021-XXXXXX. Those references will be used in addition to the IAC’s conventional references for appeals and judicial reviews and must be given in all correspondence with the Upper Tribunal.


  1. This guidance is issued by the Chamber President of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Upper Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) in light of experience with increased use of electronic bundles in the Tribunal. In line with paragraph 6 of the Practice Direction on electronic filing in the Tribunal, any electronic bundle provided to the Tribunal must be prepared in accordance with this guidance. A bundle which does not comply with the guidance is likely to be rejected by the Tribunal. The Tribunal might also consider using its powers under rule 10.


  1. Bundles of up to 50MB can be provided directly to the Tribunal via e-filing. Each bundle provided should therefore be contained in a single PDF file not exceeding 50 MB in size. This is readily achievable, even in the case of large bundles, when the requirements on formatting (as below) are observed.
  2. If all of the requirements of this guidance have been observed and the bundle still exceeds 50MB, the bundle may be split into the smallest possible number of PDF files. The order of such bundles should be clear from the file name (e.g. UI-XXX-1966-123456_UT bundle_Part1.pdf).


  1. All pages of the bundle (including index pages) must be numbered in ascending order, preferably by computer generation or at least in typed form and not numbered by hand. Pagination must not mask relevant detail on the original document. The Tribunal will expect references to be made to the bundle page numbers, not the original (or internal) page numbers on the documents.
  2. The digital PDF page number must correspond to the paginated page number. Where, for example, the contents pages of a bundle are not included in the pagination, such pages should be assigned a different page range (e.g. pages (i) to (x) for the contents, substantive pagination beginning at 1, etc.). A system of numbering which comprises a letter and a number (eg A1, A2 etc) should never be used.
  3. Where it is necessary to split a bundle, the pagination of each part should follow on from the preceding section, with appropriate digital page ranges assigned. For example, if the first part features pages 1 to 300, the digital and actual pagination of the second part must start at page 301.

Indexing, Hyperlinking and Bookmarking

  1. A digital index or table of contents of the documents must be prepared. The index must be hyperlinked to the pages or document it refers to.
  2. All significant documents and all sections in bundles must be bookmarked for ease of navigation. Bookmarks must be labelled indicating what documents they are referring to (it is best to have the same name or title as the actual document) and also display the relevant page numbers.


  1. Bundles should be provided in a PDF format which is suitable for use with Adobe Acrobat Reader, PDF Expert and PDF XChange Editor.
  2. The default display view size of all pages must be 100%.
  3. All documents must appear in portrait orientation. If an original document is in landscape orientation, it must be inserted so that it can be read with a 90 degree rotation clockwise. Documents must not appear upside down.
  4. All bundles must be text based, not a scan of a hard copy bundle. If documents within a bundle have been scanned, optical character recognition (“OCR”) must be undertaken so that the text is word searchable and comments and highlights can be imposed.
  5. The resolution of the document must be reduced to between 200-300 DPI to minimise size and to prevent delays whilst scrolling from one page to another. File optimisation should be undertaken in order to reduce size further.
  6. Any draft order or directions must also be provided separately as a Microsoft Word file, so as to assist the judge or lawyer in reviewing, editing and approving them.


  1. The file name of the PDF containing the bundle must include the UI or JR file reference and, where necessary, an indication of the number of the bundle


  1. Further information and guidance about the operation of CE-File, as it already applies in some courts and tribunals, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmcts-e-filing-service-for-citizens-and-professionals.
  2. A list of Frequently Asked Questions is also available at FAQs on using the Courts Electronic Filing System (CE-File) | Practical Law (thomsonreuters.com)
  3. For further assistance with CE-File, contact the support team on EfileSupport@justice.gov.uk

Ian Dove
The Hon. Mr Justice Dove
President of the Upper Tribunal
Immigration and Asylum Chamber

18th September 2023