What to do after UK Visa Refusal Letter: Appeal or Reapply?

This guidance explains: what to do after getting UK visa refusal letter: reapply or appeal? Indeed, after getting a UK visa refusal letter, applicants are not very sure whether to reapply or appeal and doubtful about the chances of getting a visa after refusal. In fact, for genuine applicants there are always good chances of getting a UK visa after refusal. However, to get a UK visa after refusal one needs to follow the proper procedure to reapply or appeal against the decision.

1. What to do after refusal? 2. Chances 3. Reapplying 4. Reconsideration 5. Administrative Review 6. Legal Challenge 7. Refusal Letter

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1. What to do?

UK Visa Refusal: Appeal or Reapply

The Possible Option after UK Visa Rejection

Indeed, after getting a UK visa refusal letter, an applicant can:

  1. Reapply after refusal of an entry clearance application
  2. opt for reconsideration, which has a limited scope and is only possible for certain types of leave to remain applications
  3. lodge an appeal if there is a right of appeal. For instance, an applicant can file an immigration appeal against a spouse visa refusal on human rights grounds. However, the immigration appeal time limit is 10, 5 and 28 days for in-country, detention, and entry clearance appeals
  4. file an Administrative Review (AR), which is mostly available after refusal of point-based (PBS), leave to remain and ILR application with no right of appeal. Therefore, it is not available to certain types of applicants such as visitors, spouse, family settlement etc. Moreover, an applicant needs to file an Administrative Review within 28 or 14 days after the UK visa refusal letter
  5. opt for Judicial Review (JR) if there is no right of appeal and there are errors in the decision. Moreover, if an applicant has a right of an AR, then can only file a judicial review after AR. However, an applicant should file a judicial review promptly and, in any event, within 3 months of the UK visa refusal letter

When to appeal or reapply after UK visa refusal?

In fact, there is no straight-forward answer for: when to appeal or reapply after UK visa refusal. For instance, after getting a visitor visa refusal, a proper reapplication may still be effective. However, in case of a 10-year reentry or deception ban, there are no realistic chances of getting a visa after a reapplication. And a legal challenge is inevitable. Moreover, usually a reapplication after refusal of leave to remain or ILR application may not be possible. Therefore, depending on the type of the application and nature of the refusal one can reapply, file a reconsideration request, appeal, administrative review (AR) or judicial review (JR).

What to do after UK visitor visa refusal?

In fact, if UK visit visa is refused then one can reapply or file a judicial review as there is no right of appeal or administrative review. However, in case of a 10-year ban, one has no other choice but to file a judicial review after refusal. Indeed, there are always good chances of getting a UK visit visa after refusal for genuine visitors. Moreover, the best practice to reapply for UK visit visa after refusal is to read the rejection letter and understand the implications of the refusal reasons. And accordingly submit a well-documented reapplication to clearly establishes an applicant’s:

  1. genuine intentions of visiting
  2. ability to bear the trip cost without recourse to public funds
  3. intentions to leave the UK after completing the proposed journey i.e. strong ties to the home country
UK Visa Refusal Appeal or Reapply 2021

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Now YOU can get the Best Advice and Representation for All Types of UK Visa and Immigration Applications!

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*What Happens Next?

Multilingual qualified London based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually, within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, then the UK based Law firm may ask for the relevant Case-Specific Document(s) such as Refusal Letters, Deportation Orders, Application Forms etc. Moreover, after reviewing the papers and information, the legal advisor may advise a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

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2. Chances of Success after UK Visa Refusal

UK Visa Refusal: Appeal or Reapply

What are the Chances of Getting a UK Visa after Refusal?

For genuine applicants, there are always considerable chances of getting a UK visa after refusal. For instance, the appeal success rate is more than 50%. Moreover, a considerable number of applicants get a favourable decision by filing an AR or JR. Therefore, there are also good chances of getting a UK visa after a reapplication, especially if a decision-maker has made glaring mistake in refusal letter. Accordingly, overlooked the obvious and critical facts and supporting documents of the case!

Chances of success in the first instance

The possibility of success in the very first instance depends on the personal circumstances of the applicant and the quality of the application. However, the success rate by country and type of application is also a good proxy to determine the chances of getting a visa. For instance, the success rate for visitor and spouse visa is 89.3% and 78.53%, respectively. Therefore, there are more chances of getting a UK visitor visa then the spouse visa. However, the actual chances of getting UK visa in the first instance may be less as success rate includes the grants after refusal.

Priority Service and the Chances of Getting UK Visa after Refusal

The purpose of the priority service is to expedite the processing time and not to influence the decision. Moreover, it is the priority service is only for a straightforward and not complex applications. In fact, a application may become complex due to past refusals, adverse immigration history etc. Therefore, it is not a promising idea to use the priority service after a refusal. However, if an applicant intends to use the priority or super priority service then the applicant can do so. At their own risk and cost. Please note, UKVI/Home Office is not even liable to expedite the processing of a complex application.

Chances of success vary from country to country

Furthermore, the chances of getting an entry clearance for the first time applicants may vary from country to country. For instance, the success rate from India and Pakistan is around 90% and 70%, respectively. Therefore, there are more chances of success in the first instance from India than from Pakistan.

Refusal Stamp and the Chances of Getting UK Visa after Refusal

Most of the applicants experience at-least 1-2 rejection decisions during their lifetime. It is quite normal to have refusal stamp on the passport. In fact, in terms with the Immigration Rules, the applications are always considered as mutually exclusive i.e. the act of past grants (rejections) does not necessitate a favourable (adverse) decision!

The Number of Successful UK Visa Appeals and Reapplications

Each year 25K and 2-3K applicants get a visa after a successful immigration appeal and judicial review decision. Additionally, the number of successful reapplications is quite substantial. Especially if an applicant is reapplying after a UK visitor visa refusal because most of the applicants can learn from their mistakes and effectively address the concerns raised in the rejection letter. However, the statistics relating for reapplications are not available.

3. Reapplying after UK Visa Refusal

UK Visa Refusal: Appeal or Reapply

How to make a UK Visa Reapplication after Rejection?

The easiest option is to submit a reapplication i.e. reapplying after UK visa refusal with the correct address of the rejection grounds, along with new evidence and the application fee. What is required is to understand the requirements for the application. And to submit a well-prepared application that has the potential of satisfying the ECO. Accordingly, one can make a successful reapplication after UK visa refusal, especially a visitor visa, if an applicant:

  1. reads the refusal letter carefully
  2. studies the rejection reasons stated in the refusal letter in the light of the immigration rules, and
  3. accordingly, prepares an application, which clarifies the UK Visa Refusal Reasons

What is the Reapplication Time after UK Visit Visa Refusal?

Most of the applicants don’t know when to reapply as they don’t have a fair idea about the reapplication time for UK visit visa after refusal. There is no timeframe for reapplying UK visa after refusal. Accordingly, one does not need to wait for any specific duration of time, such as six months, before reapplying for a UK visit visa after refusal. In fact, one can reapply for UK visa after refusal as soon as possible, especially if the grounds of rejection are not tenable.

Is it necessary to wait for 6-months before UK visa reapplication?

No, certainly not. Commonly and erroneously most of the applicants think that one needs to wait for a duration of six (6) months before reapplying, especially in case of applying for a UK visit visa after refusal. In fact, the only plausible reasoning behind this time duration is the change of circumstances of an applicant. However, six months is not such a long duration that may effectively affect the circumstances of an applicant.

How many times one can reapply after UK visa refusal?

In fact, there is no legal and administrative limits on the UK visa reapplications after a refusal under the immigration rules. Therefore, an applicant can reapply for a UK visitor visa as many times as they may like. There is nothing wrong in submitting a reapplication after rejection. Moreover, this is also true for other types of applications such as spouse settlement, Tier 1 entrepreneur, Tier 2 work visa etc. However, it is not advisable to submit an ill-advised application repeatedly.

anyone refused a visit visa may reapply as many times as they like

Home Office

On some websites, it is erroneously mentioned that multiple refusals may lead to blacklisting and a permanent ban. It is a false notion. In fact, there is no such thing as a blacklist or permanent ban under the Immigration Rules. Quite clearly, an applicant can only get a deception and re-entry ban up-to 10 years under General Grounds of Refusal. And there is no provision in the general grounds to blacklist an applicant because of submitting a UK visa reapplication after refusal on several occasions! Moreover, the refusal and ban under general grounds are due to an applicant’s adverse behaviour and background. For instance, such as false documents, criminal conviction, character, conduct or associations.

Reapplying after UK Visa Refusal due to Insufficient Evidence

In fact, if an application gets rejected because of insufficient evidence then it is quite easy to correct the mistake and reapply after refusal. For instance, if an applicant inadvertently failed to submit bank statements, a medical or English Test result or similar evidence then an applicant may include all the absent evidence with the new application. Moreover, in the reapplication, an applicant may also provide a plausible explanation for not including the evidence in the previous application.

Reapplying after UK Visa Refusal due to the Absence of Proof

Similarly, where an application was refused because of an alleged absence of proof or insufficient evidence, reapplying is quite a strong option.

At times, due to workload or oversight of the relevant evidence, an ECO might inadvertently ignore evidence submitted with the application. Perhaps, ECOs assesses quite a few applications every day and work under tight deadlines. Consequently, it is quite normal to either overlook a few documents, especially in case of an ill-presented application. If it becomes hard for an ECO to understand the application, then there is no other option but to make a refusal decision. When this happens, then an applicant may have a couple of options:

  1. if the administrative arrangements are available, then the applicant may approach the Entry Clearance Manager and request a reconsideration
  2. if the administrative or reconsideration review is not available then submit a properly prepared UK visa reapplication after refusal

Moreover, most of the refusal decisions are due to ill-prepared applications. Therefore, it is important to furnish a clear and well-documented application. If a caseworker doesn’t understand the application, then it is not possible to grant a visa.

When reapplying for UK Visa after rejection will not work?

Nevertheless, some circumstances require a legal challenge such as:

  1. The verification process not able to verify the evidence
  2. ECO doubts the genuine intentions of the applicant to visit the United Kingdom
  3. Misunderstanding or mistake about an exclusion order
  4. A Rejection of a Leave to Remain or ILR
  5. A Refusal on General Grounds such as Reentry or Deception Ban

4. Reconsideration after UK Visa Refusal

Leave to Remain Applications

Please note, reconsideration is not available for entry clearance applications as it is only available for certain types of leave to remain applications. There is no real time frame for reconsideration as the Home Office is not legally bound to reconsider a decision. Therefore, reconsideration after UK visa refusal may prove to be a waste time. Although, a reconsideration review has limited usability, but may prove effective for the following types of decisions:

  1. further, limited, or indefinite leave to remain such as spouse ILR
  2. transfer of conditions (TOC)
  3. no time limit (NTL)
  4. there is no right of appeal or AR against the decision
  5. the reconsideration request relates to a granted application with no AR. And the applicant believes the type of leave granted or the expiry date of the leave is incorrect
  6. the reconsideration request relates to a refused application and the applicant is:
    • providing new evidence to prove the date of application
    • providing new evidence that documents submitted with the application are genuine
    • identifying relevant material which was not available to the caseworker but was received by the Home Office before the decision date
  7. reconsideration is a legacy request submitted before 13 November 2012. And there are still reasons to reconsider the decision

Reconsideration can be for a certain aspect of the approval

Although, a reconsideration is usually about an overturning rejection decision; however, it may also be for certain aspect of approval. For instance, the duration of the leave to remain.

You can make a reconsideration request if you believe immigration rules or policies weren’t followed correctly when the decision was made.


5. Administrative Review after UK Visa Refusal

UK Visa Refusal: Appeal or Reapply

Who can file an Administrative Review after UK Visa Refusal?

An applicant can use administrative review if the refusal decision relates to:

  1. Tier 1 Exceptional talent, Tier 1 General, Entrepreneur, Investor, Graduate entrepreneur, Dependent partners, and children
  2. PBS Tier 2 General, Intra-Company Transfer, Ministers of Religion, Sportsperson, Dependent partners, and children
  3. Tier 4 adult and child students, dependent partners, and children
  4. Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme, Temporary Worker, Dependent partners, and children
  5. any in-country application (except for visitor, protection, or human rights claim applications), where the decision was made on or after 6 April

An applicant can use administrative review to challenge cancellation of leave to enter or remain at the border due to change of circumstances, false representations, and failure to disclose material facts. And decisions to cancel leave to enter or remain under paragraphs V9.2 or V9.4 of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules.

You’ll be told in your application refusal letter if you can ask for the decision on your visa application to be reviewed. This is known as an ‘administrative review’.


Ineligible Decisions

However, an applicant cannot use administrative review if the rejection decision relates:

UK Visa Refusal: Appeal or Reapply

When a Legal Challenge is inevitable after UK visa refusal?

If a reapplication, reconsideration, or administrative review has not worked then it may be worth to take legal action. An immigration appeal or a judicial review constitutes a legal challenge against a rejection decision. Please note: if either no right or limited right of appeal then an applicant can file a judicial review. Therefore, some circumstances require a legal challenge such as:

  1. the verification process not able to verify the evidence
  2. ECO doubts the genuine intentions of the applicant to visit the United Kingdom
  3. Misunderstanding or mistake about an exclusion order

You can only appeal to the tribunal if you have the legal right to appeal – you’ll usually be told if you do in your decision letter.


Verification process fails to verify the evidence

If fact, where the evidence relied on was declined as being from an in complete or unverifiable source then there is a limited point of re-submitting the same set of documents for the second time, especially, when an applicant can do nothing more. This is quite true in case of getting more than 2-3 refusal decisions. Therefore, in such circumstances, an applicant needs to challenge the decision by way of an appeal or judicial review.

Doubtful Intentions

When the ECO in the refusal letter alleges that an applicant is not a genuine visitor with no intention to return to the home country and applicant has no additional documents prove their case then an applicant may need to take legal action or at least a professional advice.

Exclusion Order

In fact, one needs to either appeal or judicial review if there is a previous exclusion order to exclude the applicant from the United Kingdom for a particular period of time. For instance, for the use of deception. If there was an obvious misunderstanding or mistake on part of the ECO, then it might be plausible to remedy this through a reconsideration request or afresh application. However, in most of the cases, a legal challenge is quite inevitable in such circumstances.

Judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body.

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

7. Why do applicants receive a UK Visa Refusal Letter?

Applicants don’t feel good after receiving a UK visa refusal letter. However, it is a legal requirement to serve a written notice after an appealable or non-appealable UK visa refusal decision. And for a void or invalid entry clearance, leave to enter or remain and administrative review application. Accordingly, in case of rejection, an applicant receives a written letter stating the UK visa refusal reasons.

Appealable Decision

In fact, the Immigration (Notices) Regulations 2003, require the Home Office to also serve a notice of decision whenever an appealable decision is made. Accordingly, in such instances, the UK visa refusal letter states that the decision is appealable. Moreover, the decision-maker also needs to enclose a notice of appeal form with the UK visa refusal letter. Therefore, in case of an appealable decision, an applicant has an option of whether to reapply or appeal against a UK visa refusal. The appealable applications relate to spouse and family settlements, human rights etc.

For instance, in 2019, 7,067 spouse visa applications rejected. However, there could be several reasons for refusals. Therefore, depending on the nature of the rejection an applicant can reapply or appeal against the UK spouse visa refusal. In most of the situations, it is better to exercise the right of appeal instead of reapplying after rejection.

(2) The decision-maker must give written notice to a person of the relevant grant of leave to enter or remain if, as a result of that grant, a right of appeal arises under section 83(2) of the 2002 Act.

The Immigration (Notices) Regulations 2003

Non-Appealable Decision

Moreover, a notice of non-appealable immigration decision for leave to remain (or vary leave to remain) is served under the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000. Furthermore, in terms of paragraph SN1.2 of Appendix SN to the Immigration Rules, notices relating to void, invalid and administrative reviews are served. Therefore, in case of a non-appealable decision, an applicant has an option of whether to reapply or file a reconsideration, administrative or judicial review. The non-appealable applications relate to a visitor, PBS etc.

….an immigration officer shall as soon as practicable give to him a notice in writing stating that he has been refused leave to enter the United Kingdom and stating the reasons for the refusal.

The Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000