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

This guidance explains: what to do after getting UK visa refusal letter: reapply or appeal? Indeed, after UK visit, tourist, student, work, or spouse visa refusal applicants are not very sure whether to reapply or appeal. Moreover, most of the applicants are also doubtful about their chances of getting a UK 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 rejection one needs to follow the proper procedure to reapply or appeal against the decision.

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UK Visa Refusal Appeal or Reapply

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

The viable options after UK visa refusal are reapplication, reconsideration, administrative review, or a legal challenge (appeal or judicial review). However, all these options are not available for any single type of applicant. Therefore, depending on the type of the application and nature of the UK visa refusal one can either reapply or opt for an available recourse such as reconsideration, appeal, administrative review (AR), or judicial review (JR). Please note, reapplying (reapplication) after UK visa refusal may not be a viable option in certain circumstances. For instance, after refusal of a leave to remain application, 10-year ban under paragraph 320 etc.

What to do after UK Visa Refusal

Temporary Visitor or Tourist Visa UK Refusal

If UK visit or tourist visa is refused, then one can reapply or file a judicial review as there is no right of appeal or administrative review. The popular option after UK standard visitor or tourist visa refusal is reapplication. Indeed, there are always good chances of getting a UK visit visa after refusal for genuine visitors. However, in case of a 10-year ban, one has no other choice but to file a judicial review after UK visit or tourist visa refusal.

Student Visa UK Refusal

After a UK student visa refusal, one can’t opt for reconsideration or appeal. Therefore, the only available option after rejection of UK student visa is reapplication or administration review. If the administrative review against a UK student visa rejection is not successful, then one can opt for judicial review.

Spouse Visa UK Refusal

If a UK spouse visa is refused, then one can opt for either reapplication or appeal. There could be several reasons for refusal of UK spouse visa. Therefore, there is no straight-forward answer for: when to appeal or reapply after UK spouse visa refusal. Perhaps, depending on the nature of the rejection an applicant can reapply or appeal against the UK spouse visa refusal. However, it is better to exercise the right of appeal against UK spouse, partner, or fiancé(e) visa refusal, instead of reapplying after rejection, if the application is refused on relationship, false documents, or verification grounds.

Work Visa UK Refusal

After skilled worker visa refusal, one can’t opt for reconsideration or appeal. Therefore, the only available option after rejection of UK skilled worker visa is reapplication or administration review. If the administrative review against a UK skilled worker visa rejection is not successful, then one can file immigration judicial review.

Refusal of Applications from Inside the UK

In terms of Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 if a migrant submits an in-time application then can extend their stay in the UK. Therefore, migrant will not become overstayer while their application remains outstanding and the conditions which applied during their previous grant of leave continue. However, after refusal of a leave to remain application, it is usually not advisable to reapply as the Home Office will deem such reapplications as totally without merit i.e. a migrant is reapplying just to remain in the UK. Therefore, the Home Office will not only refuse such reapplication, but deport the migrant if their leave to remain has expired.

Reconsideration has limited use after refusal of leave to remain, ILR, or NTL application. Reconsideration is not an application for variation of leave or an appeal, so it does not extend the applicant’s leave under section 3C or 3D of the Immigration Act 1971. A migrant may become overstayer if reconsideration does not conclude in time.

Therefore, depending on the nature of leave to remain, ILR, or NTL application, after refusal, a migrant need to opt for administrative review, appeal, or judicial review instead of reapplication or reconsideration.

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UK Visa Refusal Appeal or Reapply 2021

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    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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    Chances of Getting UK Visa After Refusal

    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%. Considerable number of applicants get a favourable decision by filing an AR or JR. There are also good chances of getting a UK visa after a reapplication, especially if a decision-maker has overlooked the supporting documents of the case!

    Chances of Success for Fresh Application

    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.

    Chances of Success for a Complex Application

    The chances of success for straightforward application are higher than a complex UK visa application. A UK visa application may become complex if:

    • there is no additional evidence other than the application form is presented with the application
    • Immigration Officer is not able to assess the application in full because, while some evidence has been submitted to enable a consideration to take place, some information is missing
    • application includes evidence which, following consideration, indicates irregularities, and further analysis or checks are required to confirm the veracity of the evidence
    • a previous application has been refused on suitability grounds (Part 9)
    • Immigration Officer has any other doubts about the evidence presented
    • Immigration Officer has any concerns about modern slavery
    • there is any other reason for thinking that the requirements of the rules might not be met

    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. Priority service is only for a straightforward application and not for complex applications due to past refusals, adverse immigration history etc. Therefore, it is not a promising idea to use the priority service after UK visa refusal. However, if an applicant intends to use the priority or super priority service then the applicant can do so. UKVI/Home Office has no service standards for processing of a complex UK visa application.

    Chances of Success Vary from Country to Country

    The chances of getting a UK visa for the first time may vary from country to country. For instance, the UK visa success rate from India and Pakistan is 90% and 70%, respectively. Therefore, there are more chances of success in the first instance for Indian nationals than from Pakistanis.

    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. Therefore, it is quite normal to have refusal stamp on the passport. In terms of Immigration Rules, the UK visa applications are considered as mutually exclusive i.e. the act of past grants (or rejections) does not necessitate a favourable (or adverse) decision.

    The Number of Successful UK Visa Appeals and Reapplications

    Each year 25K and 2-3K applicants get a UK visa after a successful immigration appeal and judicial review decision, respectively. 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 to the success or refusal rate of UK visa reapplications are not available.

    Reapplying UK Visa after Refusal

    Reapplying UK Visa after Refusal

    If the UK visa is refused due to insufficient evidence or absence of proof, then the easiest option is to submit a reapplication with the correct address of the rejection grounds, along with new evidence and the application fee. Therefore, in such instances, it is important to understand the UK visa application requirements and grounds of refusal. For instance, you can make a successful reapplication after UK visit visa refusal, if you may read the refusal letter carefully. Accordingly, you prepare a well-documented reapplication to clarify genuine intentions of visiting the UK, ability to bear the trip cost without recourse to public funds, and intentions to leave the UK after completing the proposed journey i.e. strong ties to the home country.

    Please note, reapplication after refusal of a straightforward entry clearance applications such as UK visit, student, spouse, and work visa is quite common. However, reapplication after rejection of a complex entry clearance application or any type of leave to remain application is not advisable.

    Insufficient Evidence

    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 after UK visa refusal, an applicant may also provide a plausible explanation for not including the evidence in the previous application.

    Absence of Proof

    Similarly, where an application was refused because of an alleged absence of proof, reapplying after UK visa refusal is quite a strong option. Please note, 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. Therefore, it is quite normal to 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 UK visa refusals are due to ill-prepared applications. Therefore, it is important to furnish a clear and well-documented application. If the Immigration Officer doesn’t understand the application, then it is not possible to grant a visa.

    How soon can I Reapply for UK Visa after Refusal?

    A person can reapply at any time after receiving the UK visa refusal letter. However, some applicants think that they need to wait for six months before reapplying for a UK visit visa after refusal. The only plausible reasoning behind this is the change of circumstances. However, six months is not a long duration that may effectively change the personal, financial, or professional circumstances of an applicant.

    How many times one can reapply after UK visa refusal?

    There are no legal and administrative limits on the UK visitor or tourist 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 UK visit visa reapplication after rejection. Moreover, this is also true for other types of entry clearance applications such as spouse settlement, skilled worker, innovator, startup, student 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. 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 – such as false documents, criminal conviction, character, conduct or associations.

    When Reapplication after UK Visa Rejection will not work

    Reapplication after UK visa refusal is the most popular option for entry clearance applications, especially visitor or tourist visa applications. However, in case of a 10-year reentry or deception ban, there are no realistic chances of getting a visit visa after a reapplication. Moreover, usually it is not advisable to reapply after refusal of a Leave to Remain (switching or extension) or ILR application. Therefore, the following circumstances may require a legal challenge (appeal or judicial review) instead of reapplication after UK visa refusal:

    1. The verification process is 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 due to false documents, misrepresentation etc.
    Reconsideration after UK Visa Rejection

    Reconsideration

    Reconsideration after UK visa refusal has a limited scope and is only possible for certain types of leave to remain applications. Therefore, reconsideration is not available for entry clearance applications. There is no real time frame for reconsideration as the Home Office is not legally bound to reconsider a decision. In fact, usually reconsideration after UK visa refusal may prove to be a waste time.

    Eligible Decisions

    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

    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.

    GOV.UK

    Administrative Review after UK Visa Refusal

    Administrative Review

    Administrative Review (AR) 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

    Eligible Decisions

    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’.

    GOV.UK

    Ineligible Decisions

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

    • short term student under part 3 of the Immigration Rules
    • Appendix EU Family Permit
    • visitor applications i.e. standard, marriage, medical, business, tourist, family, and PPE
    • visitor extension application
    • human rights claim
    Legal Challenge after UK Visa Refusal

    An applicant can legally challenge a UK visa refusal decision by:

    1. lodging 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
    2. filing a 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 Administrative Review, 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 after receiving a UK visa refusal letter

    When Legal Challenge is inevitable?

    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 there is no right or limited right of appeal against a UK visa refusal decision then one can file a judicial review. Moreover, following circumstances may require a legal challenge after a UK visa refusal:

    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.

    GOV.UK

    Verification process fails to verify the evidence

    If the Immigration Officer declines the evidence as incomplete or from an 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. Therefore, in such circumstances, an applicant needs to challenge the UK visa refusal 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 to prove their case then an applicant may need to take legal action or at least a professional advice.

    Exclusion Order

    If there is a previous exclusion against the applicant, then may need to legally challenge the decision. However, 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, usually, 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