Processing Times for Appealing a Visa Refusal
Receiving a refusal on your visa from the Home Office can be deeply upsetting, especially if your plans for the future have been derailed. Your rights following a refusal will typically depend on the type of visa you applied for, and not all visas allow an appeal. Visitor and short-term visa refusals often do not allow appeals, whereas human rights-related refusals do. If you have recently received a refusal regarding your visa application, time will now be very much of the essence. Making the correct decision based on the facts in a timely manner may result in your refusal being reversed or at least your case being reconsidered. In this article, we will explain the processing times for appealing a UK visa refusal.
Do I Have The Right To Appeal My Visa Refusal?
Your letter of refusal will explain whether you have the right to appeal your visa refusal. If this is not clear, then it is advisable to speak to an immigration Solicitor as soon as possible as they will be able to review your case and explains your options. Your Lawyer will be able to explain to you if appealing is likely to result in the same outcome, or it should be successful. Likewise, they may recommend that rather than appealing, it may be faster, cheaper, and easier to reapply.
Depending on the type of visa you applied for and the reason for the refusal, you will have either:
- The right to an administrative review: an administrative review means that a check will be carried out to see if a mistake was made when your case was being considered. This option is typically given to those applying under a points-based route, including Skilled Worker, Tier 2, Tier 4, and Tier 5.
- The right to a full appeal: this is typically available to those applying for asylum or refugee status.
- No right to an appeal
Your letter will also explain why your visa was refused.
What Are The Timeframes For Visa Refusal Appeals?
As will be explained in your letter, if you do have the right to appeal a negative decision made by the Home Office, you will need to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum). If you are in the UK, you will have 14 days to lodge your appeal or 28 days if outside the UK. The Home Office guidance also explains that those appealing from outside of the UK, “If you have to leave the country before you’re allowed to appeal, you have 28 days to appeal once you’ve left the country”.
If you miss the deadline for appealing, it may still be possible to have your case heard if you have a strong reason. As the Home Office states, “If you apply after the deadline, you must explain why - the tribunal will decide if it can still hear your appeal”. It is also possible to appeal following an administrative review in some cases; “You can appeal later if your administrative review was unsuccessful for an EU Settlement Scheme, frontier worker or S2 healthcare visitor application”.
The immigration system allows appeals to be lodged online on the Ministry of Justice website, which will give you slightly more time to prepare your case compared to postal or fax submissions.
It is essential that your appeal is taken very seriously; it is not just a case of informing the court you want to appeal, you also need to provide reasoning why you do meet the criteria for the visa and a court bundle with the necessary documents and evidence. By preparing thoroughly, you can ensure that the best possible appeal case is lodged with the tribunal, and this will give you the highest chance of securing a decision in your favour in the shortest time. And if done correctly, it may even be possible to secure a positive decision even before your appeal reaches a full hearing in front of the appeal tribunal.
The complete immigration Tribunal process can take between six and 12 months, depending on how busy the courts are and the complexity of your case.
How Long Do Administrative Reviews Take?
If you are eligible for an administrative review, you will have 14 days to apply for one (this is only seven days for applicants who have been detained). Administrative reviews are generally processed by the Home Office within 28 days. As the Home Office states, “You’ll usually receive the result of the administrative review within 28 days. You cannot request a second review (unless the result included new reasons why you were refused)”. If your visa is due to expire, as long as you submit your application for an administrative review prior to its expiry, you will not be at risk of being removed from the country.
Appealing An EU Settlement Scheme, Frontier Worker Or S2 Healthcare Visa Refusal
For those who have had their EU Settlement, frontier worker, or S2 healthcare visa application refused, it is possible to reapply at no cost if you have new evidence to be considered. Administrative reviews may also be requested within 28 days. If neither of these options is viable in your case, an appeal can be lodged as long as the application was made after:
- 11 pm on 31st January 2020, for the EU Settlement Scheme
- 10th December 2020, for a Frontier Worker permit
- 11 pm on 31st December 2020, for an S2 Healthcare Visitor visa
As we have stressed throughout this article, it is vital to act immediately if you have received a negative decision on your visa application. By seeking professional advice, you will be able to understand the options available to you and which is most likely to lead to the best outcome for your needs. Also, do be reassured, even in the most complex cases, we have seen how, with careful planning and preparation, adverse decisions which seemed unsurmountable have been overturned and the visa granted.