If you’re facing UK visa refusal from the Home Office or UKVI, you can challenge the application rejection with your right of administrative review or appeal to the immigration tribunal. Even though visa application rejection might feel like the end of the world, it really isn’t since more than half of Home Office immigration decisions get turned over due to appealing to the immigration tribunal.
Here’s everything you need to know about appealing for UK visa refusal:
Your Right to Appeal
The legal course of action you can take to appeal your visa rejection will depend on the type of application you submit. For instance, all PBS or points-based system applications and those applications for PBS migrant family members, i.e., Tier 1, 2, 4, and 5, have the right of administrative review.
Applications under EEA regulations and Human Rights and Protection claims have the full right to appeal to the immigration tribunal. However, some in-country rights can be deemed certified, which means the applicant can only lodge the appeal once they leave the country. Lastly, visitor visa applications or temporary student visa applications come with no rights of appeal except for a few limited cases.
UK Visa Refusal Process
Those applicants whose visas got rejected but have the full right to appeal can appeal to the immigration tribunal. These cases might include a spousal visa refusal, ILR application refusal, Residence Card refusal, or Permanent Residence refusal. You will typically get 14 calendar days to lodge an appeal for an application refused inside the country, such as an extension or ILR. Applicants outside the UK will have 28 days to appeal the refusal.
When an application is refused, the applicant receives reasons for the refusal letter from the UKVI or Home Office. It outlines why the application was rejected and includes guidance on the right to appeal and the timeframe for appealing.
If you receive a rejection, your first option is to appeal the refusal after assessing the refusal and how you can challenge it. Alternatively, if the reasons for refusal can be addressed, you can reapply as it will be quicker than appealing. Thirdly, you can overturn the refusal before lodging the appeal by requesting the UKVI to reconsider. It only applies in cases the UKVI makes an obvious error.
How to Appeal Visa Rejection in the UK
If you have decided on submitting a UK visa refusal appeal, you must prepare comprehensively by assessing the documents, evidence, reasons for refusals, and more. You must also work with an attorney to draft grounds of appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal, prepare witness statements, complete the appeal form, and compile an appeal bundle. Then, you will need to lodge the appeal with the Immigration Tribunal and then serve the grounds and supporting document to the Home Office.
When it comes to entry clearance appeals, the case will be handled and reviewed by an Entry Clearance Manager (ECM). A well-prepared appeal will often lead to the visa refusal decision being overturned at the ECM stage. For in-country applications, a dedicated Home Office team will reconsider pending appeals.
Since appealing to the immigration tribunal can be overwhelming, it’s best to hire qualified attorneys to do that on your behalf and to prepare your case meticulously to give you the best chance at acquiring your visa.