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UK Visa Refusal and Immigration Decision Appeal

Appealing your visa refusal means that you are challenging the decision made by the Home Office, either on the basis that you believe an error was made, that the law has been incorrectly interpreted, or your human rights have been breached.

Contact our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or complete our enquiry form to discuss an immigration appeal for your UK visa refusal.

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If your UK visa application is refused, you will receive a letter from the Home Office explaining the reasons for your visa refusal and whether you have the right to bring an appeal or request an Administrative Review. If you wish to appeal the immigration decision, you will need to do so within the required time. Typically, you will have 14 days if you are inside the UK and 28 days to appeal a UK visa refusal if you are outside the UK.

Immigration decision appeal means that you are challenging the decision made by the Home Office, either on the basis that you believe an error was made, that the law has been incorrectly interpreted, or your human rights have been breached.

According to the UK government’s official figures1, just under 15% of visa applications are refused, representing 247,280 refusals in 2021 alone. The figures also show that in the region of half of all appeals lodged are successful2. Therefore, your chances of getting a UK visa after a refusal is around 50%, depending on the complexity of your case.

Reiss Edwards can help you with a UK visa refusal appeal or recommend the best course of action. Speak to one of our experienced immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or email us at info@reissedwards.co.uk.

Common reasons for a UK visa refusal

UK visas are often rejected by the Home Office under general grounds for refusal. They will often make an immigration decision based on your suitability, validity, and eligibility for a UK visa. Here are some common reasons for a UK visa refusal.

  • Not meeting the financial requirements (e.g., minimum annual income and maintenance savings)
  • Not scoring sufficient points under the UK points-based system (PBS)
  • Providing false information to the Home Office (e.g., details on your application or fake documents)
  • Failure to provide the information requested by the Home Office
  • Unsuitability (e.g., unspent criminal convictions, if you represent a threat to national security)
  • Rough sleeping
  • Exceeding the maximum permitted stay
  • Owing debts to the NHS
  • Previous breaches of the immigration rules (e.g., overstaying in the UK)
  • UK entry ban
  • Sham marriage or relationship

For example, your visa may be refused because the income figures you provided do not match perfectly with those held by HMRC (this is a common reason for refusal). We will assess the best course of action and provide a robust representation to the Home Office on your behalf.

Who can appeal against a Home Office decision?

Your decision letter from the Home Office will tell you if you have the right to appeal their decision. Depending on your circumstances and your type of visa application, you may be able to apply for:

  • An Administrative Review (AR) – if the Home Office made a mistake when refusing your application
  • An appeal

In many cases, you will only have the right to request an Administrative Review. This applies to all Points Based System (PBS) visa applications and visas for their dependant family members. PBS visas include most work visas and business visas.

You may be given the right to appeal your decision to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) on the basis of your human rights if the Home Office has:

  • refused an asylum claim or humanitarian protection claim
  • revoked your protection status
  • refused your human rights claim
  • revoked your British citizenship
  • refused or revoked your status, varied the length or condition of your stay, or deported you under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • refused or revoked your EUSS family permit
  • refused or revoked your Frontier Worker Permit
  • refused or revoked your S2 Healthcare Visitor visa

You may also be able to apply for a Judicial Review if your immigration solicitor believes the Home Office has incorrectly interpreted the law when refusing your application.

It is likely that you will have no right of appeal if you have been refused a visitor visa or short-term student visa. An immigration solicitor will be able to check your rights to appeal in this situation and recommend the options available to you.

Even if you have the right of appeal, in some circumstances, your immigration solicitor may recommend either preparing and submitting a new application or trying for a different type of visa. It is advisable to submit a new application if the reason for refusal was due to poor preparation of your application. In such situations, it may be much faster and easier to reapply. It may also be possible to appeal and submit a fresh application at the same time if you are seeking entry clearance from outside the UK.

UK immigration appeal process

To have a strong chance of getting a UK visa after refusal, you must carefully complete the following steps for your UK immigration appeal process.

  1. Engage an immigration solicitor (this is not mandatory but will give you the best chance of preparing a robust immigration decision appeal)
  2. Check you have the right to appeal
  3. Review the reason for your visa refusal
  4. Prepare your appeal case – including the basis for your appeal, gathering the necessary information and documents.
  5. Complete and submit an online appeal application3 within 14 days if within the UK or 28 days if outside UK (from the date you received your decision)
  6. Provide any supporting documents

As part of your immigration appeal application, you can state whether you wish to have an oral hearing to explain your case further or to have a decision made on the basis of the information you have provided.

Once your application for an immigration appeal has been submitted online, it will then be handed to an Entry Clearance Manager (ECM), who will review the case. If you have made a clear and robust case for appeal and backed this up with evidence, you may receive a positive decision at this stage. If the ECM is unable to make a decision, they will then refer the appeal to a full hearing by First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

If you have requested an oral hearing or your case has been referred for a hearing, you will receive a ‘Notice of Hearing’. Your appeal hearing date may be several weeks after you submit your application for appeal (there is no set timescale for this). If you are unable to make the appeal hearing (e.g., if you are due to go to the hospital on that date), you can ask for the hearing to be adjourned to a later day. It is advisable to send any remaining documents you wish to be considered in good time before the hearing.

As explained above, while it is not mandatory to engage an immigration solicitor to handle your appeal matter, in nearly all situations doing so will lead to a better outcome. Immigration solicitors understand the grounds for appeal and how to overcome these. They also know how to appeal against visa refusal UK, the standard of evidence needed, and can prepare your case and documents in a manner that assures success. They will also represent you at a Tribunal / Court hearing, ensuring that the facts of your appeal case are properly explained and that any questions raised by the Court are answered fully.

Contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or email us at info@reissedwards.co.uk.

How long does it take to get a visa after appeal?

Depending on the complexity of your case, the type of UK visa refusal appeal, and the strength of your application, your immigration appeal may take between 6 and 12 months.

Where an immigration appeal is heard by a Tribunal, it is unlikely that you will receive a decision on the day of your hearing; this is typically received approximately one month later. If your appeal is successful, then the Home Office may appeal or reverse their previous decision and issue your visa.

What to do if your appeal is not successful

If your immigration appeal is not successful, you may still have several options available to you, including:

  • Bringing a further appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) if you believe a legal error has been made (i.e., they got the law wrong, did not use the correct law, did not follow the correct legal process, or had no evidence to support its decision)
  • Submitting a fresh application – whether to submit a fresh application of the same type will largely depend on whether you are likely to receive a refusal for the same reason your appeal was not successful.
  • Applying for a different type of visa – this may be the preferred option if you are unlikely to be successful in submitting a fresh application for the same visa type.

We recommend speaking to an immigration solicitor who can explain the options available to you and the route with the best chance of success.

References

1 GOV.UK: Immigration statistics for visa application

2 Freemovement.org: Half of all immigration appeals are successful

3 GOV.UK: Immigration asylum tribunal

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