UK Visa Refusal Reasons: what you need to know? Best Advice!

Refusal Reasons UK Visa for family visitors and general touristsThis relates to the most common reasons for UK standard visa refusal as family, tourist and business visitors. And also in terms of Appendix V for Visitors, the post also covers the general grounds for refusal. Perhaps, the underlying reason for UK visitor visa refusal is the lack of understanding of the immigration rule. Accordingly, the refusal reasons in the Refusal Letter are merely consequences of a lack of understanding of immigration rules. Certainly, in tandem with poor documentation of UK visitor visa application. Therefore, the best method of avoiding a UK visa refusal is to know the relevant immigration rules and furnish a properly document application.

Most Common UK Visa Refusal Reasons for Standard Visitors

Apparently, some website states ‘wrong application’ and ‘payment of fee’ as a UK visitor visa refusal. However, these are quite erroneous refusal reasons.

Online Payment is a Pre-requisite to Complete the Online Form

Certainly,  an applicant pays the UK visitor visa Application Fee online before taking out the print out. Therefore, there is no chance of refusal of a UK standard visitor visa due to the application fee.

Standard Visitor Visa Online Form and UK Visa Refusal Reason

Certainly, the online procedure of filing is the same for all types of UK standard visitor visa applications. Therefore, it is highly improbable that an applicant could file a visitor visa application on a wrong application form! Moreover, the staff of the UKVAC has the responsibility to cursorily check the appropriateness of the application.

Checklist of Common UK Visa Refusal Reasons

Accordingly, the post covers the most common UK visitor visa refusal reasons due to:

  1. Lack of Understanding of the Immigration Rules
  2. A Clear Purpose of Visiting the UK and Activities during the UK
  3. Insufficient Evidence and Inability to Document Properly to Prove Credibility
  4. Error in Assessment by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO)
  5. Recourse to Public Funds
  6. Limited Travel History
  7. Documents Not Verified
  8. Sundry Reasons
  9. Mandatory and Discretionary Suitability
    • Deportation Order
    • Criminal Conviction and Sentence in the UK
    • The inability of the Applicant to Furnish a Valid Passport
    • Directive of Secretary of State for an Applicant’s Exclusion
    • False Representation and Documents
    • Not Disclosing Material Facts
    • Previous Breach of the UK Immigration Rules
    • Failure to Attend an Interview without Explanation
    • Failure to Provide Information, Biometrics, Medical

Lack of Understanding of the Immigration Rules

Perhaps the lack of understanding of the immigration rules is the most common UK visa refusal reason. Why? Certainly, an ECO either refuses an application or grants a visa if an applicant is able to fulfil the requirements of the immigration rules. Therefore, it is highly unlikely to get a visitor visa without knowing the relevant immigration rules.

Purpose of Visit | UK Standard Visitor Visa Refusal Reasons

Perhaps, another very common reason is the inability of the applicant to clearly specify the purpose of visiting the UK. Therefore, an application not only just state the reason for visiting the UK but also substantiate it. Certainly, with adequate logical narration, reasons and documents.

Applicants often overlook substantiating the underlying reasons for visiting the UK

If the underlying purpose or reason for visiting is not clear then the chances of getting a UK visa are quite remote. Apparently, the procedure of applying for the UK standard visitor visa is the same irrespective of the purpose of visiting the UK. Therefore, applicants often overlook the importance of specifying a clear purpose. And also accordingly supplementing the standard visitor visa application with the supporting documents.

Purpose of Visiting the UK Not Covered under the Rules

If the purpose of visiting the UK is not covered under the Immigration Rules then the applicant is certainly rejected under paragraph V 4.2(c) of Appendix V for visitors. Moreover, irrespective of the credentials and documentary evidence the application will be refused because an applicant is seeking entry for a purpose not covered by the rules. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to apply for a purpose for visiting the UK in accordance with the immigration rules.

Activities during the Visit and UK Visa Refusal Reasons

Certainly, a visitor can undertake a multitude of permitted activities during the UK visit. However, an applicant needs to clearly elucidate in the UK standard visit visa application the main reason for visiting the UK.  Moreover, in the initial application and also the extension application an applicant needs to clearly state the main reason.

The Burden of Proof and UK Visa Refusal Reasons

Appendix V clearly states that a visit visa application is decided on the information furnished by an applicant. Therefore, the burden of proof is on the applicant and an applicant needs to furnish the requisite documentary evidence, which is evaluated during the assessment process for making a decision on the application.

UK Visa is a Privilege and a Discretion

UK visitor visa is not a right but a privilege and the sole discretion of HM’s Government. Moreover, for assessment and grant of UK visa elaborate rules, procedures, practices, and precedents are quite well established, which has fine-tuned and improved over time. Accordingly, an ECO cannot grant a visa solely under the discretionary powers entrusted by HM’s Government. Therefore, all the applicant needs to provide sufficient evidence as the burden of proof is on the applicant.

Insufficient Evidence | UK Visa Refusal Reasons

If the applicant is not able to provide sufficient evidence to satisfy the evaluating officer that he/she meets the necessary requirements for the grant of a visitor visa, then the application will be refused. Accordingly, an applicant to needs to submit a well-documented UK visitor visa application. Why? Certainly, the burden of proof is on the applicant. And an ECO usually decides a UK visitor visa application on the balance of probability. Therefore, if an application lacks sufficient, relevant, clear and substantive evidence, then it is highly unlikely to get a successful decision.

Refusal Letter and UK Visa Refusal Reasons

The reasons for refusal mentioned in the Refusal Letter are usually specific and relevant as in a great majority of the applications, the applicants are not able to furnish an application in the light of the relevant immigration rules. Therefore, rather than blaming anybody else, the applicants are advised to read and understand the applicable immigration rules, along with the corresponding implications of not fulfilling the requirement of submitting a well documented and meaningful application for the consideration of BHC/ECO.

Inability to Prove Credibility and UK Visa Refusal Reasons

During the assessment process, the caseworker examines an applicant’s credibility and intentions. Moreover, the caseworker usually thoroughly checks to ascertain that an applicant meets the requirements of the immigration rules. Perhaps, the ECO only grants a UK visitor visa granted if the documents and circumstances of an applicant clearly establish an applicant as a genuine visitor. However, the burden of proof is on the applicant to prove that application is a genuine visitor and will return to home country after the journey.

Applicant to Submit Conclusive Evidence

An applicant is liable to give clear, concrete and conclusive evidence so as to satisfy the immigration officer that he/she meets the visit visa rules for either visiting the UK or extending his/her stay in the UK.

Once the requisite evidence is submitted with a visitor visa application, then all the information provided by the applicant is assessed by an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO), along with any other evidence that may be deemed appropriate and is relevant to the facts of the application.

Every Applicant Needs to Properly Document UK Visit Visa Application

All applicants need to properly document their standard visitor visa applications. The aforesaid is applicable for not only first-time applicants with a limited travel history and means but also holds true for more frequent visitors applying for a long-term visitor visa. Therefore, all applicants need to furnish the UK visitor visa application in a requisite manner. Please note that irrespective of the personal credentials of an applicant, it is quite unlikely that a standard visitor visa could be granted without furnishing the requisite supporting documents with a family, business or a general tourist visitor visa application.

False Evidence and UK Visa Refusal Reasons

False Representation and Documents as per Paragraph V 3.6 of Appendix V for visitors. If an applicant has made false representations or submitted false documents:

  • whether or not material to the application
  • whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge, and
  • despite the applicant’s age or category of visa sought.
  • , Material Facts Not Disclosed the applicant has not disclosed material facts

The ECO may also consider whether paragraph V 3.7 of Appendix V for visitors.

Error in Assessment and UK Visa Refusal Reasons

It is quite human to make mistakes, and an ECO is also prone to making mistakes and an error of judgement. If an applicant thinks that an ECO has made a glaring mistake in his/her judgement then an applicant may either reapply by addressing the mistake(s) made by an ECO in the assessment of the previous application or preferably file an appeal against an appealable refusal, otherwise go for a  judicial review, even for refusals with a ‘no right of appeal‘ and ‘limited right of appeal‘.

Here is it important to point out that most of the applications are not refused due to the error of judgement and mistakes on the part of an ECO, but due to an unsubstantive application. If an application does not satisfy the requirements of the immigration rules, then an ECO cannot grant a visa. So, there is no point of submitting a poorly documented application again and again as it is unlikely to procure a visa successfully rather it will reduce the chances of getting a visa over time.

Recourse to Public Funds and UK Visa Refusal Reasons

An applicant in the past has accessed public funds in the UK. Such applicants need to provide the factual details of utilisation of the public funds, along with the relevant evidence establishing the reasons as to why there will be no need of resorting to public funds if they are granted a visitor visa.

Limited Travel History and UK Visit Visa Refusal

Applicants having limited immigration history can provide other types of evidence such as availability of funds, business details and family ties so as to substantiate their application. It is not necessary to be a frequent traveller to get a UK Visitor Visa;

Documents Not Verified

At times the submitted evidence cannot be verified properly, therefore, an application is refused due to Fake/False Documents and Statements. Therefore, an applicant should have some degree of confidence on the verifiability of the documents before submitting them with the visit visa application.

Sundry Reasons

The list of UK Visitor Visa Refusal Reasons could be quite long such as:

  • Income not reflecting in the bank statement;
  • Weak Ties in the home country;
  • No clear agenda for visiting the UK;
  • Frequent visits and long stays in the UK;
  • Not ample savings – annual savings are not sufficient to justify a trip/luxury of visiting the UK.

Since the application is decided on a balance of probabilities, therefore, the applicant should be focused on increasing the balance of probabilities by properly substantiating his/her visit visa application by adopting a realist, fact of the matter approach.

Mandatory and Discretionary Suitability

An application is assessed keeping in view all the relevant factors. Therefore, if an application fails to satisfy either one or more than one mandatory suitability grounds, then the application is prone to be refused without any assessment on suitability grounds, even if the applicant meets the visitor eligibility requirements.

If an applicant fulfils the requirements of mandatory suitability, then the ECO can decide an applicant’s eligibility i.e. either to grant a visitor visa or to refuse the application on discretionary suitability grounds.

Failure to Attend an Interview without Explanation

Paragraph V 3.12(b)(i) of Appendix V for visitors because the applicant failed to comply with a request made on behalf of the entry clearance officer to attend for an interview without providing a reasonable explanation.

Failure to Provide Information, Biometrics, Medical

Paragraph V 3.12(b)(ii-iv) of Appendix V for visitors as the applicant failed to do the following without reasonable excuse:

  • provide information
  • provide biometrics
  • undergo a medical examination or provide a medical report

Previous Breach of UK Immigration Rules

Previous Breach of the UK Immigration Rules as per paragraph V 3.7-11 of Appendix V for visitors. Accordingly, these relate to overstaying, breaching a condition attached to their leave, illegal entrant to the UK. And also using deception in an application for a visa, leave to enter or leave to remain

Other Sundry General Grounds for UK Visitor Visa Refusal

These may relate to but not limited to the following general grounds for UK Visitor Visa Refusal:

  • Deportation Order
  • Conviction and Sentence in the UK for at least four (4) Years
  • Applicant’s Conviction and Sentence in the UK for at least 12 Months but less than four years unless a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence
  • Conviction and imprisoned for less than 12 Months unless a period of five years has passed since the end of the sentence
  • The inability of the Applicant to Furnish a Valid Passport as per Paragraph V 3.12(a) of Appendix V.
  • Directive of Secretary of State for an applicant’s exclusion from the UK is conducive to the public good