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Can You Appeal a Visitor Visa Refusal UK?

Your Visitor Visa application being refused may leave you wondering what options are available. The good news is that you can appeal a Visitor Visa refusal in the UK.

For more information about steps to take after visa refusal, the right approach to reapplying and how to prepare for it, get in touch with one of our advisors today. Call us on 0333 3059375 or contact us online.


Overview of Visitor Visa Refusal

A UK Visitor Visa is granted to individuals who wish to travel to the UK for a temporary period for a variety of purposes such as tourism, visiting family or friends, attending business meetings or receiving medical treatment.

Any applicant must provide adequate evidence to demonstrate that they meet the requirements of the Visitor Visa, otherwise an entry clearance manager may refuse their application.

Reasons for the UK Visitor Visa Refusal

A UK Visitor Visa application may be refused for a variety of reasons. The following are some of the most common reasons:

  • Failing to provide sufficient evidence to support an application, such as proof of funds, accommodation arrangements, and return travel arrangements.
  • A history of overstaying or violating immigration laws- such a refusal is known as a re-entry ban.
  • Having weak connections to their home country, such as unstable employment, limited family responsibilities, or no property ownership as there may be concerns about their intention to return after visiting the UK.
  • Having a criminal history or concerns about their character.
  • If the purpose of the visit needs further clarification or there are doubts about the applicant’s intention to return to their home country.

Can You Appeal a Visitor Visa Refusal UK?

It is possible to appeal a Visitor Visa refusal in the UK. There are three possible ways: re-applying, appealing to the First-tier Tribunal or applying for a judicial review. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages and the best course of action will depend on the circumstances of your case.

At IAS, our expert advisors can guide you through the appeals process and help you understand your chances of success. We offer consultation to discuss your case and determine the best way forward. Contact us today at 0333 3059375 to get started on your appeal.

Call us today to talk with our friendly advisers about how to appeal your visa refusal.

What to Do if a UK Visitor Visa Is Refused?

If your Visitor Visa application is refused, you can get your refusal overturned by re-submitting a new application but you will need to ensure you address any issues or concerns raised that led to the refusal.

You can also consider submitting an appeal to get the decision overturned although you may not be able to appeal the decision unless you have specific grounds do so. You should seek legal advice to see if you are able to appeal.

Applying for a Judicial Review


It may be possible to challenge the decision by applying for a Judicial Review. This is a legal challenge that can be made to the Upper Tribunal or High Court to review the decision-making process of the Home Office.

A Judicial Review is only available in limited circumstances, such as if the decision was made in breach of the law or if there was procedural unfairness.

Legal advice and representation are essential for a Judicial Review application, as the process can be challenging and costly.

Grounds for Judicial Review

The following are the key reasons for a Judicial Review being possible:

  • Illegality occurs when there is an error of law in the decision-making process.
  • Irrationality or unreasonableness refers to decisions that are not based on sound reasoning or are not justified by the evidence.
  • Procedural impropriety and unfairness include situations where the decision-making process was flawed or biased, and the procedure lacked transparency or fairness.
  • Breach of the Human Rights Act 1998 involves assessing whether the decision is proportionate and in compliance with human rights legislation.

How to Challenge a Visitor Visa Refusal via Judicial Review

To challenge a Visitor Visa refusal through judicial review, you should gather all evidence supporting your case. Your legal team will then try to negotiate with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) by sending a detailed legal representation letter, known as the Pre-Action Protocol letter.

At this stage, you can set out your case to UKVI and try to reach a settlement.  Within 14 days of receiving the letter, UKVI will respond to the ‘Letter Before Claim’. They may agree to reconsider your Visitor Visa application or maintain the refusal decision, advising you to proceed with the review.

If UKVI upholds the refusal decision or does not respond to the Pre-Action Protocol, you can initiate Judicial Review proceedings. The Government Legal Department will represent UKVI and submit its response at the Acknowledgement of Service stage. If the decision is maintained, a judge of the Upper Tribunal will consider the case.

Acting quickly in a Judicial Review matter is important, as any challenge must be made as soon as possible and within three months of the refusal decision.

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive help with your visa refusal appeal.

Appeal to a First-tier Tribunal

Under very limited circumstances you may be able to appeal to a First-tier Tribunal. This is the court responsible for appeals against decisions concerning entry clearance to the UK, permission to stay in the UK and deportation.

Once the First-tier Tribunal has received the appeal form within the time limit specified by the decision maker, a hearing will be scheduled where the appellant can present their case and any evidence they wish to rely on. The decision of the First-tier Tribunal is usually final.

The appeal must be made within 28 days of the date of the refusal and will be reviewed by a judge. It is important to note that the appeal process can be lengthy and complex, and legal representation is highly recommended.

The right to appeal to the tribunal is granted only if you have the legal right to appeal, as stated in your decision letter. The refusal letter will use explain if an appeal is possible. Many UK Visit Visitor Visa refusals will not qualify for a First-tier Tribunal.

The cost for appealing is £80 without a hearing and £140 with a hearing. You may be eligible for legal aid and you may be able to have the fees waived depending on your circumstances.

Reapplying for a UK Visitor Visa Application After Refusal


Reapplying could be a good option if refusal grounds are justified and you are able to address them.

You will have to pay the application fee again and supporting documents must demonstrate you have addressed the reasons for refusal.

IAS offers a document checking service that could help ensure your application is accompanied by the correct paperwork – reducing the risk of a further delay or possible refusal.

When Can I Reapply for a UK Visitor Visa After Refusal?

There is no specific time frame for reapplying for a Visitor Visa following a refusal. However, you should refrain from reapplying until any re-entry ban has expired and, if applicable, the time frame for appealing the UK Visitor Visa refusal has passed.

In order to reapply, you must have all required supporting documents and a valid reason for travel, such as visiting a family member, attending a business meeting, or receiving medical treatment.

Where to Get a Form for the UK Visitor Visa Refusal Appeal?

You can get the appropriate form from the UK government’s website to start the appeals process. The form is called “IAFT-5: Appeal a visa or immigration decision” and can be found on the gov.uk website under the section for immigration and borders. You should only appeal using a paper form if you are in detention.

How Can IAS Help?

If you have been refused a UK Visitor Visa, you may feel frustrated and unsure about what to do next. You might also be concerned about unexpected expenses in this regard. At IAS, we understand how important it is to have your Visitor Visa approved and to be able to visit your loved ones in the UK.

If you are considering an appeal against your Visitor Visa refusal, we can help. Our experienced legal team can guide you through the appeals process, including preparing and submitting a solid appeal application and representing you in court if necessary.

With IAS on your side, you can be confident that your case will be handled professionally and efficiently and that you will have the best possible chance of success.

To learn more about how we can help you with your Visitor Visa appeal, please contact us at 0333 3059375 or through our website to schedule a consultation today.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If an applicant has been refused a UK visa in the past, it may raise concerns about their credibility, intentions, or eligibility to enter the UK. A previous visa refusal does not necessarily mean a new visa application will automatically be refused. It depends on the reasons for the earlier refusal and whether they have been addressed in the new application.

Each case is unique and there is no guarantee of success. The chances of success in appealing a Visitor Visa refusal depend on several factors, such as the reasons for the initial refusal, the strength of your new application and your circumstances.

You may wish to seek advice from an immigration specialist when resubmiting an application.

Attempting to enter the UK without a valid Visitor Visa is not advised as it will potentially harm your chances of successfully entering the UK in the future.

It is important to follow the proper procedures and wait until the Judicial Review process is complete before travelling to the UK.

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