Overview of Having a Visit Visa Refusal Overturned
It is not uncommon to have any type of UK visa refused. There is an overall refusal rate of 15%. This happens for a score of reasons which will convince a Home Office worker that your visa should not be accepted.
However, having a visa refused does not mean your dream of visiting the UK is over. There are still multiple pathways open to you. Using the right one will lead to your Visit visa refusal being overturned.
Some Specifics About the Visit Visa
The Visit visa has been designed exclusively for visitors to the UK. Visitors are people who are:
- Coming to the UK for up to six months.
- in the country for a temporary purpose.
Common reasons for making a Visitor Visa application are if you want to come to the UK as a tourist or for temporary business purposes.
Why Might a Visit Visa Application Get a Refusal Decision?
The Home Office refuses thousands of Visit visas each year. This happens when they become suspicious that you are not being honest about your trip. They look for indications that you are likely to overstay your visa. This includes:
- A lack of intention to return home. The Home Office advises you to only book flights once you receive your visa, but they will look for evidence that you have a stable life to return to in your home country.
- You need more funds to remain in the UK for your entire trip. If the Home Office find bank statements with too little money, they will become concerned about you making the trip for economic reasons.
- A lack of previous travel history. Not having visited other countries could show you are not just making a normal trip.
- No clear purpose for your trip. If you are traveling for business, you may need a letter from the businesspeople you will work with in the UK.
It is also common for Visit visas to be rejected because your application has mistakes or false documentation. This includes a failure to pay the application fee for your visa. If you are struggling to complete any stage of your visa application, it is sensible to enlist the help of an immigration advice firm.
Having understood why your visa application might have been refused, you can begin the process of overturning the Home Office’s decision. Five potential options are available. They include the following:
- Applying for administrative review.
- Pre-Action Protocol
- Filing a Judicial Review.
You can find this process explained in detail below, helping you choose which is appropriate for your circumstances and how to complete the complex process properly.
If you cannot successfully utilise one of these methods to overturn the Home Office’s decision, you cannot visit the UK.
Re-application is a chance for you to start from a clean slate. It is a great option if you realise there were substantial errors with your visa application, but beyond that, there is no good reason that you shouldn’t be allowed to visit the UK.
Making a re-application is not restricted. You do not have to wait after receiving your refusal. Sometimes, a successful reapplication can be made quickly enough for the initially planned trip to still go ahead.
The re-application process is the same as your initial application. During this process, you must accurately provide:
- Travel documents and a detailed travel plan.
- Your immigration record.
- The cost of your visit estimated and proof that you can afford it.
- Your non-UK address and contact information.
- The details of your overseas employer if you are travelling for work.
If you are re-applying, it is likely that there were errors in this documentation and the information you provided. Make sure that you account for these errors properly.
After you apply, as with your initial application, you will have to wait around three weeks to hear back if you have been successful.
With re-applications lacking restrictions, it can be tempting to make several fresh applications if you keep running into difficulties. However, remember that you must pay the £100 application fee each time you apply.
Making an Appeal
Many circumstances are inappropriate for re-applying, particularly if you believe your visa was refused for the wrong reasons. If this is the case, you should consider appealing. However, this process is strictly restricted to certain circumstances, which include:
- Asylum or human rights claims.
- Applications as part of the EU Settlement Scheme.
- Applications from S2 healthcare visitors and frontier workers.
Usually, appeals will be made online through the MyHMCTS system. This online form will often be enough and will cost £80. However, cases that must go before a tribunal will cost you £140.
Even if your application does not fit the requirements for appeal, you may still have the opportunity to overturn a refusal. You can use the administrative review procedure if you believe the team assessing your application made mistakes and want a different team to review. Suppose your application does not fulfil the requirements for an appeal, and you believe that mistakes were made when processing your application. In that case, you can apply for administrative review so that a different team can look at your application.
There is a range of outcomes from administrative review. Either your refusal decision will be withdrawn, the original decision will stand, or the reasons for refusal will change.
If none of the above methods are appropriate or have worked, and you believe that there has been legal wrongdoing in processing the case, you may want to use legal action.
The legal process starts with pre-action protocol, which outlines the actions you need to take when claiming the government legal department. The protocol has five aims which are to:
- Identify the issue you are disputing.
- Inform decisions for how you should proceed.
- Settle the dispute without needing legal proceedings.
- Avoid unnecessary costs.
- Support legal proceedings when they are unavoidable.
Failing to account for the entire pre-action protocol can have severe consequences. It may be held against you in court, leading to you having to pay additional costs.
At IAS, we have experience helping visa applicants challenge visa refusals through the British legal system. Contact us at 0333 305 9375 to discover how our lawyers can help you.
In many cases, the pre-action protocol will allow you to overturn your visa refusal without going through the stress of taking your case to court. However, our lawyers can also help you if your case has to go to court.
After your case has been heard, there are a range of different outcomes which will determine if your refusal decision is overturned. They are:
- An order for the Home Office to take a specific action.
- A quashing order, meaning the refusal decision will be removed.
- A damages payment or a costs award to you or the Home Office.
Getting a visa refusal decision overturned is a challenging and lengthy process. However, it has been seen that the majority of attempts to overturn the decision that are done properly see success.
At IAS, our lawyers and advisors can guide you through getting a refusal decision overturned, no matter what pathway you choose.
For more information about the vast range of services we offer to help you overturn a refusal you can get in touch online or by calling us. Our number is 0333 4149244 where you can speak with one of our immigration advisors
Last modified on May 24th, 2023 at 3:59 pm
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Once you receive your refusal letter, the clock starts ticking. You have just three months to begin the judicial review process. As it will take time to gather your case together and go through the pre-action protocol, it is worth working with a lawyer as soon as you receive your refusal.
The grounds for judicial review are highly restricted. They are only open to you if you have suffered from the following during your application process.
- Breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Our lawyers and immigration advisors at IAS can help you understand if you have faced any of these cases and have sufficient reasons for a judicial review.
You will discover the outcome of your administrative review within 28 days of applying. The exact length of time will vary depending on how complex your case is and if the team assigned to your case has a backlog.