UK Visa Reapply or Appeal after Refusal: what you need to know?

UK Visa Reapplication Time and Change of CircumstancesThis relates to UK Visa Reapply or Appeal: what to do after the UK visa refusal? In fact, after receiving a UK visa refusal letter, most of the applicants are not really sure whether to reapply or appeal against a UK visa refusal decision. And also like to know the chances of getting a UK visa after refusal. Therefore, the post elaborates on why applicants receive a UK visa refusal letter and when reapplying is better than challenging a refusal decision and vice versa. Perhaps, this will help applicants who intend to reapply after refusal such as reapplying for the UK visit visa after refusal or appeal against a spouse visa refusal. Additionally, the post also provides guidance on UK visa reapplication time.

  1. UK visa reapply or appeal: what to do after UK visa refusal?
  2. UK visa reapply or appeal and the reapplication time
  3. When a legal challenge becomes inevitable?

Moreover, for case processing and representation contact specialist UK immigration solicitors for challenging refusal decisions and reapplications.

1) UK visa reapply or appeal: what to do after UK visa refusal?

In the event of a refusal decision, usually, there are two possible available actions:

  1. To furnish a reapplication and address the issues highlighted in the rejection letter, or
  2. To file either an appeal or a judicial review against a refusal decision

Accordingly, the post has two sections. The first section relates to UK visa reapplication. Subsequently, the second section explains the conditions when a legal challenge becomes inevitable.

Why applicants receive a UK visa refusal letter?

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

UK visa reapply or appeal against an 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. And the refusal letter states that the decision is appealable. Moreover, the decision-maker also need to enclose a notice of appeal forms such as  IAFT 5 or IAFT 6 with the refusal letter. Therefore, in case of an appealable decision, an applicant has an option of whether to reapply or appeal. Perhaps, the appealable applications mainly relate to spouse and family settlements, human rights etc.

UK visa reapply or challenge a 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. Perhaps, the non-appealable applications mainly relate to a visitor, PBS etc.

What are the chances of getting a UK visa after refusal?

Perhaps, for genuine applicants, there are always considerable chances of getting a UK visa after refusal. For instance, the UK visa appeal success rate is approximately more than 50%. Moreover, a considerable number of applicants get a favourable decision by filing an administrative and judicial review. And yes, of course, there are pretty good chances of getting a UK visa after a reapplication, especially if a decision-maker has made glaring mistake i.e. overlooked the obvious and critical facts and supporting documents of the case!

What is the possibility of getting a visa in the first instance?

Perhaps, the possibility of getting a UK visa in the very first instance greatly depends on the personal circumstances of the applicant. And also on the quality of the UK visa application. However, the UK visa success rate by country and type of application is also a good proxy to determine the chances of getting a UK visa. For instance, the UK visa 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 a UK visa for applicants, who are applying for the very first time, maybe less as UK visa success rate includes the grants after reapplications, reconsiderations, appeals, administrative and judicial review.

Chances for getting UK visa vary from country to country!

Furthermore, the chances of getting a UK entry clearance visa for the first time applicants may vary from country to country. For instance, the UK visa success rate from India and Pakistan is around 90% and 70%. Therefore, there are more chances of getting a UK visa in the first instance from India than from Pakistan. Additionally, to know the country-specific details of UK visa grants and refusal rates please refer to Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Turkey and USA.

How many applicants get a UK visa after refusal?

Perhaps, each year nearly 25K and 2-3K applicants get a UK entry clearance and leave to remain visa after a successful immigration appeal and judicial review decision. Although, the statistics relating to UK visa after a reapplication are not available. However, the number of applicants, who get a UK visa after a reapplication should be considerably higher than the number of successful appeals and judicial review decisions.

Is a refusal stamp on passport bad for future visa application?

Not really! Perhaps, most of the applicants experience at-least 1-2 UK visa refusal decisions during their lifetime. Apparently, 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 and refusals do not necessitate a favourable or adverse decision, respectively!

2) UK visa reapply or appeal and the reapplication time

Perhaps, the easiest option is to submit a UK visa reapplication i.e. re-applying for UK visa after refusal with the correct address of the refusal grounds, along with new evidence and fee. However, most of the applicants don’t know when to reapply as they don’t have a fair idea about UK visa reapplication time.

If a UK visa is rejected then when can I apply again?

How long does it take to apply for a UK visa after refusal? Apparently, there is no timeframe for re-applying for UK visa after refusal. Accordingly, one does not need to wait for any specific duration of time, such as six months, before re-applying for UK visa after refusal. Perhaps, one can reapply for UK visa as soon as possible, especially if the grounds of refusal are not tenable.

Change of circumstances and UK visa reapplication time

Commonly and rather erroneously most of the applicants think that one needs to wait for a duration of six (6) months before reapplying for a UK Visa, especially in case of re-applying for the UK visit visa after refusal.

Perhaps, 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 to successfully apply for a UK visa after refusal?

At the same time, it is not advisable to submit an ill-advised application again and again. Therefore, there is no need of wasting time, money and energy for an ill-conceived notion. Perhaps, what is required is to understand the requirements for the particular UK Visa Application. And also to submit a well-prepared application that has the potential of satisfying the ECO. Accordingly, one can successfully reapply for a UK visa after refusal, especially a visitor visa, if an applicant:

  1. reads the refusal letter carefully
  2. studies the reasons for refusal in the light of the immigration rules
  3. prepares an application, which clarifies the refusal reasons

How many times can I reapply after UK visa refusal?

Quite clearly, there is no legal and administrative limit for reapplications after a refusal under the immigration rules. Therefore, one can reapply as many times as one wishes to! Perhaps, on some websites, it is erroneously mentioned that multiple visa refusals will lead to blacklisting and a permanent ban. Evidently, it is an absolutely false notion. Why? 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. Moreover, the refusal and ban under general grounds are mainly due to an applicant’s adverse behaviour and background. For instance, such as false documents, criminal conviction, character, conduct or associations.

Reapply a UK visitor visa as many times as you like!

Moreover, the Home Secretary in June 2013, clearly advocated applicants to reapply after a refusal decision. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in submitting a reapplication as many times as you like! Perhaps, this is also quite true for other types of applications such as spouse settlement, Tier 1 entrepreneur, work etc.

Under the new system, anyone refused a visit visa may reapply as many times as they like and can provide additional information in support of their application.

Will priority service increase chances of success after refusal?

No, certainly not. Quite clearly, the purpose of the priority service is to expedite the UK visa application processing and not to influence the decision.

Reconsideration after a UK visa refusal decision

Moreover,  at times, an applicant may not need to go for an outright UK visa reapplication. Accordingly, this may be possible if reconsideration for a UK visa refusal is available. Previously, such reconsideration was frequently exercised against the UK visitor visa refusal decisions. However, now it is not available due to changes in the immigration rules and procedure. Moreover, there is no real time frame for this, and one may waste time waiting for an unlikely occurrence. Perhaps, an administrative review in case of a points-based system is akin to reconsideration. However, the success rate of administrative review is quite nominal.

Reapplying after UK visa rejection on ‘Insufficient Evidence’

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

Reapplying after UK visa refusal on ‘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.

What if the ECO has overlooked the evidence?

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. Apparently, it becomes hard for an ECO to understand the application. Perhaps, then there is no other option but to make a refusal decision. If this happens, then an applicant may have a couple of options:

  • if the administrative arrangements are available, then the applicant may approach the Entry Clearance Manager and request a reconsideration.
  • submit a properly prepared reapplication

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.

3) When a legal challenge becomes inevitable?

Nevertheless, some circumstances require a legal challenge such as:

  • UK visa verification process not able to verify the evidence
  • ECO doubting the genuine intentions to visit the UK
  • Misunderstanding or mistake about a UK immigration exclusion order

Verification Process fails to verify the evidence

Where the evidence relied on was declined as being from an incomplete or unverifiable source. There is a limited point of resubmitting the same set of documents for the second time and if an applicant has already given his/her best shot there probably is not more one can do further.

Doubts about the intentions of an applicant

When the reasons stated by an ECO are something terming an applicant not being a genuine visitor with no intention to return to the home country; normally there are no additional documents an applicant can submit to prove his/her case. Under such circumstances, an applicant may need to take legal action or at least a professional drafting of the Application. Accordingly, a specialist visitor visa lawyer may explain the bonafide of the applicant in a befitting and clear manner.

An exclusion order against the applicant

One needs to 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, it might be plausible to remedy this through a reconsideration request or a fresh application, but in most of the cases, a legal challenge is inevitably required.

So, UK visa reapply or appeal: what to do after rejection?

If either a fresh application or reconsideration has not worked. And the applicant has tried and failed, then it may worth to take legal action. Apparently, a UK immigration appeal or a judicial review constitutes a legal action against a refusal decision. Please note: if either no right of appeal or limited right of appeal is stated in the refusal decision then an applicant can file a judicial review against the refusal decision.

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