Refusal Reasons UK Visa for family visitors and general tourists

In terms of Appendix V for visitors, this guidance relates to the UK visa refusal reasons under the Immigration Rules. Accordingly, covers the UK visa rejection reasons for a family, tourist, business, general visitor visa refusal on the eligibility and suitability grounds. Please note, if a UK visa is rejected then the refusal letter usually explains the refusal reasons with reference to the relevant paragraph of Appendix V.

Table of Contents
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  1. UK Visa Refusal Reasons in the General Visitor Rejection Letter!
    1. Doubtful Intentions
    2. Insufficient Funds
    3. The Purpose of Visiting the UK is not Credible
    4. Limited or Doubtful Travel History
    5. Is the applicant making UK his/her home?
    6. Doubts about an applicant’s activities in the UK
    7. The risk perception of an applicant’s country of residence
    8. Non-compliance with the UK Immigration Rules
    9. Failure to comply with the Immigration Laws of other countries
    10. Other possible grounds for doubting the intentions
  2. UK Visitor Visa Refusal Reasons on General Suitability Grounds
    1. Purpose Outside the Immigration Rules
    2. Applicant is subject to a deportation order
    3. Criminal Conviction
    4. Exclusion from the Refugee Convention
    5. Failure to Produce a Valid Passport
    6. Exclusion Order
    7. Deception Ban
    8. Previously Breached UK Immigration Laws
    9. Failure to Attend Interview
    10. Failure to give information in reasonable time
    11. Breached or Contrived Immigration Rulest
    12. Failed to comply with conditions of stay
    13. No ability to return
    14. No written sponsor undertaking
    15. Child under 18, no written parental consent
    16. Non-Custodial Sentence
    17. Criminality, Persistent Offenders, Offending caused serious harm
    18. Applicant not conducive to public good
    19. Failure to pay NHS charges
    20. Litigation Debt
  3. A General Note on UK Visitor Visa Refusal Reasons and Assessment
    1. The meaning of onus of proof
    2. The meaning of balance of probabilities
    3. Misleading and Incorrect UK Visitor Visa Refusal Reasons
    4. The meaning of UK Visa Refusal Reasons under Appendix V
    5. Do ECOs really scrutinize the application?
    6. The Visa Assessment Timelines
    7. So, what to do after the UK visitor visa refusal?

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UK Visa Refusal Reasons in the General Visitor Rejection Letter!

Apparently, the most common UK visa refusal reasons are due to the failure of an applicant to meet the eligibility requirements under the immigration rules. Accordingly, a UK visitor visa is usually rejected if:

  1. intentions of an applicant are doubtful
  2. the purpose of visiting the UK is doubtful or not covered in the Immigration Rules
  3. there are doubts that a repeat applicant is making UK his/her main home
  4. there are doubts about the activities in the UK
  5. an applicant does not have sufficient funds for the trip

Doubtful Intentions

UK visitor visa refusal reasons due to doubtful intentions

Perhaps, the UK visa refusal reasons due to doubtful intentions mainly relates to personal and economic circumstances of an application. And also the family and social ties of the applicant in the home country. Therefore, to gauge the applicant’s personal circumstances and ties, the ECO evaluates the details relating to an applicant’s income, savings, bank balance, ownership of immovable assets, marital status etc. Moreover, in case of a repeat visitor, the ECO looks for changes in the circumstances of an applicant. Therefore, if the intentions of an applicant are doubtful then UK visitor visa is rejected under paragraph V 4.2 (a) and (c) of Appendix V.

The meaning of weak ties

In the context of visa application, weak ties mean that an applicant has only a limited number of family, economic, social, professional and business ties to the country of residence. For instance, an applicant with most of his/her near and dear family members living in Britain with no full-time employment/study status in the country of residence may be deemed to have weak ties with the home country.

What to do if UK visitor visa refused due to doubtful intentions?

Certainly, the burden of proof is on the applicant to prove that he/she is a genuine visitor. And will return to home country after the journey. Therefore, in order to establish genuine intentions and capability of returning home, an applicant needs to provide clear evidence that he/she is leading a good life. And accordingly has strong professional, social and family ties in the home country.

Insufficient Funds

UK general visitor visa refusal reasons due to insufficient funds

Certainly, an applicant needs to provide evidence of sufficient funds for meeting the trip cost without recourse to public funds. However, an inability to do would likely yield a rejection under paragraph V 4.2 (e). Perhaps, most applicants get a refusal under V 4.2 (e) because the ECO doubts about the origination of funds in the account. Apparently, most applicants think that showing high balances in the bank account may enable them to get the visa. Therefore, they beef-up their bank statements. However, they forget to justify the source of such funds in the bank account.

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Why UK visa refused due to income and bank statement?

Perhaps, in more than 80–90% of the cases, the common reasons relate to establishing income. This usually means origination of funds in the bank statement from employment or business. Accordingly, large deposits in the bank statements, which do not commensurate with the stated income of an applicant, is one of the most common UK visa rejection reason.

What to after UK visa rejected due to insufficient funds?

Perhaps, in a reapplication an applicant needs to supplement the bank statements with information relating to:

  1. employment
  2. business
  3. income and assets

Accordingly, in a reapplication, an applicant can provide a letter from employer, payslips, tax returns, business registration documents, business bank account statements, property deeds and rental agreements to show the origination of funds. However, there is no need to to artificially augment the bank balance.

What if an applicant had recourse to public funds in the past?

If an applicant in the past has accessed public funds in the UK then needs to provide details of: why the applicant did recourse to public funds? Accordingly, needs to provide conclusive evidence that there will be no need of resorting to public funds if the applicant is granted a visitor visa

The Purpose of Visiting the UK is not Credible

Apparently, a very common UK visa refusal reason is the inability of the applicant to clearly specify the purpose of visiting the UK. Perhaps, if the underlying purpose of visiting is not clear then it creates doubts regarding the intentions of visiting the UK. Similarly, if the purpose of visiting the UK is not covered under the Immigration Rules then the applicant may also get rejection under paragraph V 4.2(c) of Appendix V, Immigration Rules.

What is a credible purpose?

Perhaps, this means whether the reason for visiting the UK correspond to an applicant’s personal, family, economic and social background or not. For instance, a family member such as parent applying for visit visa to meet son or daughter is a credible reason. Likewise, an avid traveller applying for a visa to see the sights and sounds is also a credible reason. However, an unemployed person with weak ties, intending to visit the UK for tourism is certainly not a credible reason.

In fact, the ECO carefully scrutinises whether the information provided, especially the reasons stated for either visiting or extending stay by an applicant are credible. Therefore, if the ECO finds reasonable grounds to judge that the information provided by an applicant is incongruent with the applicant’s background then will reject the application.

What to do if UK visa rejected due to doubtful purpose?

If the refusal letter explains UK visitor visa refusal reasons with reference to paragraph V 4.2 (c) then in a reapplication an applicant needs to clearly explain the purpose of visiting the UK. Perhaps, by providing documents showing the trip details such as:

  1. tour details
  2. trip itinerary
  3. flight details
  4. letter of invitation
  5. evidence of sponsor’s immigration status in the UK

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Limited or Doubtful Travel History

UK general visitor visa refusal reasons due to travel history

In fact, if an applicant has no or limited travel history then the chances of getting a favourable decision are quite slim, especially if the purpose is tourism. Certainly, travel history provides useful information about the credibility of an applicant. However, an applicant’s travel and immigration history is not the only consideration. However, trips to other countries such as the USA, Schengen Countries, Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, etc. increases the balance of probabilities of getting a visitor visa. And helps in establishing that an applicant is a genuine visitor. Moreover, a clean travel history also indicates that an applicant is a law-abiding person.

The duration of trips

Certainly, the duration of past trips is an important consideration. Perhaps, the length of time, along with frequency, gives an indication of the purpose of visiting. And also the strength of ties with the home country. Moreover, for repeat visitors, the decision-maker may check for discrepancies between the formerly stated length of stay and actual details (from an independent source) of an applicant’s journey to the UK. If there are discrepancies then this may not necessarily yield a refusal decision. However, may raise questions about the overall credibility of an applicant.

The frequency of visits

Perhaps, it is not normal to visit for tourism on a very frequent basis and staying in the UK for a long duration. Certainly, this indicates that a person has not much to do in the home country. And also may indicate weak ties to the home country. Therefore, it is not expedient to reapply within a short span of time. For instance, if one has visited the UK during the summer holidays in August then can apply in November for Christmas and new year. However, an immediate application in September (for visiting UK in October) may not reflect positively on the overall credentials and intentions of an applicant.

Is the applicant making UK his/her home?

UK visa refusal reasons due to long stays and frequent visits

Apparently, for repeat visitors, an ECO checks the frequency and duration of stay. And ascertains whether a repeat visitor is making the UK his/her main home or not. Accordingly, if there are doubts then the refusal letter states the UK general visitor visa refusal reasons by citing V 4.2 (b). However, for assessing frequency and duration, the decision-maker may consider the following aspects:

  1. the purpose of visiting the British Isles
  2. the intended duration of stay stated in the application form and the actual duration of stay during the previous visits
  3. the number and length of visits made during the preceding twelve (12) months
  4. the time period elapsed since the last visit
  5. is an applicant spending more time in the United Kingdom than in his/her home country?
  6. what is the purpose of the return journey that an applicant is making to his/her home country? Is this nothing more than just to seek re-entry to the United Kingdom?
  7. the ties of an applicant to the home country such as:
    • is an applicant is registered with the tax authorities of his/her home country?
    • are the children of the applicant attending schools in Britain?
  8. the information on previous applications. For instance, if the previous application to settle through the family route has been refused. And an applicant merely intends to enter so as to join the family in Britain.

So, how to mitigate UK visa refusal reasons under V 4.2 (b)?

In fact, a visitor can stay in the United Kingdom up to 180 days per visit. However, it is better not to unnecessarily prolong the duration of the visit. Moreover, if a visitor has a long-term visit visa then there is no need to unnecessarily trips. Perhaps, a visiting for 3-4 months on successive occasions just for tourism or meeting family certainly creates doubts about the intentions of the visitor.

Doubts about an applicant’s activities in the UK

UK visitor visa refusal reasons due to doubtful activities

Apparently, if there are doubts that the applicant may undertake prohibited activities set out in V 4.5 – V 4.10 then the refusal letter states the UK general visitor visa refusal reasons with reference to paragraph V 4.2 (d) of Appendix V. Perhaps, this means that an applicant will undertake paid work in the UK or other such prohibited activities. In fact, a refusal under V 4.2 (d) takes into account the personal circumstances such as age, marital status, employment or work status, travel history etc. For instance, a person with weak ties in the home country is likely to indulge in a prohibited activity in the UK such as:

  1. take full time or part-time employment
  2. do work for any organisation or business
  3. establish or operate a business as a self-employed person
  4. do an internship or work placement
  5. sell any goods or services directly to the general public
  6. provide any type of goods and services or elsewhere during the stay in the United Kingdom

How to mitigate the UK visa refusal reasons under V 4.2 (d)?

Perhaps, fresh applicants with a limited travel history are more prone to get a refusal under paragraph V 4.2 (d). Therefore, 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.

The risk perception of an applicant’s country of residence

Perhaps, this means the situation of an applicant’s country of residence and the degree of non-compliance to Immigration Rules. Apparently, the country risk means the overall political, economic and security conditions of an applicant’s country of residence. Indeed, an ECO has the necessary information relating to the situation of an applicant’s country of residence. Accordingly, during the assessment process, may raise questions such as:

  1. is the applicant’s home country politically unstable?
  2. is the applicant’s country of residence in a conflict zone?
  3. are there imminent risks that the country will become politically unstable in the near future?

Accordingly, these macro signals could lead to doubt the intentions of an applicant to leave the UK. Therefore, applicants applying from countries where there is social and political turmoil needs to prove their credential in a much more precise and robust manner than nationals of those countries where there are relatively better and stable economic, political and social conditions.

The Overall Non-compliance to UK Immigration Rules

In the light of the empirical and statistical data, the ECO also assesses an application against the overall noncompliance to the Immigration Rules by the nationals/citizens of a country from which an applicant is making an application. Accordingly, this means that applicants belonging to countries that have a high rate of non-compliance are more likely to go through a rigorous assessment.

Why visa rejection rate higher in some countries?

Perhaps, the disparity in the refusal rates is due to the Security Risk perception of the respective countries. However, on an individual level, it is the level of documentation that matters. Perhaps, this may mean that an individual is earning but there is no proper documentary proof to prove the income. Accordingly, in such situations, there is no plausible evidence available for establishing the earnings/income of the applicant. Therefore, the level of economic development and documentation have a correlation with the visa rejection rate. 

In fact, applying for a visa application from a politically stable and economically developed country such as Singapore is much easier and usually successful. An applicant due to a well documented economic system can readily fulfil requirements. Accordingly, establishing income and employment through bank statements, income tax returns, suppliers’ contracts, rental agreements, salary slips etc are robust and authentic. Moreover, nationals of politically stable high-income countries are certainly not likely to live illegally in the UK.

Non-compliance with the UK Immigration Rules

For repeat visitors, a pattern of previous visits to the UK may indicate that whether an applicant has complied with the UK Immigration Rules. If an applicant has breached any Immigration Rules in the past then this may attract a refusal on suitability grounds.

Failure to comply with the Immigration Laws of other countries

Perhaps, if an applicant has failed to comply with any other country’s immigration laws in the past then this may negatively impact the outcome. For instance, if an applicant has been either removed from another country or refused entry to another country, this may lead to doubt an applicant’s intentions. However, it is not an automatic and sufficient condition for refusal but may reduce the balance of probabilities for getting a visa.

Other possible grounds for doubting the intentions

The other possible grounds for doubting the intentions may include the

  • previous history of deception
  • discrepancies of statements
  • information not verifiable
  • information and reasons not credible
  • baggage search at the border

Previous history of deception

The credibility of an applicant may becomes doubtful if an applicant or his/her sponsor (in case an applicant is applying for a UK family visitor visa) or sponsor’s/applicant’s immediate family members have used deception or have attempted to use deception in any of the previous applications – for entry clearance, leave to remain or leave to enter – submitted to HM’s Home Office.

Discrepancies of statements

Certainly, the credibility becomes doubtful, if there are discrepancies in the declarations of an applicant and his/her sponsor. Perhaps, if the sponsor knows the information then the credibility may become even more doubtful.

ECO unable to verify the information

If after several attempts the decision-maker is not able to verify the information provided by an applicant then this will surely create doubts about the credibility of an applicant.

Baggage search at the border

If an applicant’s baggage search at the border reveals possession of items demonstrating intentions to work or live in the UK then perhaps, a record of such an instance would greatly undermine the credibility of any subsequent UK visitor visa applications.

UK Visitor Visa Refusal Reasons on General Suitability Grounds

The details of UK visitor visa refusal reasons on suitability grounds are as under:

Purpose Outside the Immigration Rules

If an applicant is seeking entry as a visitor for a purpose not covered under Appendix V of the Immigration Rules then the rejection letter states the UK visa refusal reasons with reference to paragraph V4.2(c).

Applicant is subject to a deportation order

If an applicant is the subject of a deportation order then rejection letter states UK visa refusal reasons citing V3.2(b).

Criminal Conviction

If an applicant has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least 4 years then the rejection letter states the UK general visitor visa refusal reasons citing V 3.4(a) with a 10-year ban.

If an applicant has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of at least 12 months but less than four years, unless a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence, then the rejection letter will state the UK visa refusal reasons under paragraph V 3.4(b) with a 5-year ban.

If an applicant has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of less than 12 months, unless a period of five years has passed since the end of the sentence, then the rejection letter will cite the UK visa refusal reasons with reference to paragraph V 3.4(c) alongwith a possible 1-year ban.

Exclusion from the Refugee Convention

If the applicant is excluded from the Refugee Convention and humanitarian protection then the rejection letter states the UK visa refusal reasons with reference to paragraph V 3.4A of Appendix V.

Failure to Produce a Valid Passport

If an applicant has not produced a valid passport then the UK visa rejected under paragraph V 3.12(a) of Appendix V. However, if an applicant does not produce a valid passport or travel document and the state is not recognised by the UK government then rejection letter explain the UK general visitor visa refusal reasons with reference to paragraph V 3.12(a).

Exclusion Order

If the Secretary of State has personally directed that the applicant’s exclusion from the UK is conducive to the public good then the UK visa is refused under paragraph V 3.2(a).

Deception Ban

If an applicant has used false representation, false documents and/or not disclosed material facts then UK visa is refused with a 10-year Deception Ban UK under paragraph V 3.6). Perhaps, the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) may also consider whether paragraph V 3.7 of Appendix V is applicable. However, the ECO needs to refer the application to the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) before making a decision. Moreover, an extension application is refused under V3.6 or V.3.9(d) for the use of deception, material facts not disclosed, false documents and false representation.

Previously Breached UK Immigration Laws

If an applicant has previously breached UK immigration laws (and was 18 or over at the time or the most recent breach) then the UK visa refused with a 1-10 years Re-Entry Ban UK under paragraph V 3.7-11. However, the ECO needs to refer the application to the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) before making a decision.

Failure to Attend Interview

If an applicant has failed to comply with a request made on behalf of the entry clearance officer to attend for interview without providing a reasonable explanation then the rejection letter state the UK visa refusal reasons citing paragraph V 3.12(b)(i) of Appendix V.

Failure to give information in reasonable time

If an applicant fails to provide information, biometrics, medical report or to undergo a medical examination without reasonable excuse then the refusal letter states the UK visitor visa refusal reasons with reference to paragraph V 3.12(b)(ii-iv) of Immigration Rules.

Breached or Contrived Immigration Rules

If an applicant is an illegal entrant or has overstayed, breached a condition attached to their leave, or used deception in a previous application then the rejection letter states the UK visitor visa refusal reasons citing paragraph V 3.8.

Failed to comply with conditions of stay

If an applicant fails to maintain and accommodate without using public funds or comply with conditions of stay then the visitor visa is cancelled under V3.9(b).

No ability to return

If an applicant has failed to satisfy in the application that he/she will be admitted to another country after a stay in the UK then the application is refused under V 3.16.

No written sponsor undertaking

If an applicant’s sponsor refuses to state in writing that they will maintain and accommodate the applicant then the application is refused under V4.4.

If an applicant under the age of 18, has not provided with the written consent of his/her parent(s) or guardian then the rejection letter states the UK general visitor visa refusal reasons with reference to V4.12.

Non-Custodial Sentence

If an applicant has been convicted of or admitted an offence for which they received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record within the 12 months prior to the date on which the application is decided then rejection letter states the UK visitor visa refusal reasons citing V 3.5(a).

Criminality, Persistent Offenders, Offending caused serious harm

If in the view of the Secretary of State the applicant’s offending has caused serious harm, or the applicant is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law then the application is refused under V 3.5(b-c).

Applicant not conducive to public good

If an applicant is not conducive to the public good due character, criminality, behaviour, conduct or associations, security, travel bans, war crimes, criminal prosecution then the refusal letter explains the UK visa rejection reasons with reference to paragraph V3.3 of Appendix V.

Failure to pay NHS charges

If National Health Service (NHS) notifies the Secretary of State that the person seeking entry or leave to enter has an outstanding healthcare debt or cumulative debt of £1000 or more incurred between 1 November 2011 and 5 April 2016, or debts of £500 or more incurred on or after 6 April 2016, or further charges after 6 April 2016 bringing the total outstanding NHS debt since 1 November 2011 to over £1000 then the refusal letter states the UK general visitor refusal reasons citing V3.14.

Litigation Debt

If an applicant has failed to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office then refusal letter explains the UK visa rejection reasons with reference to V3.14A of Appendix V.

A General Note on UK Visitor Visa Refusal Reasons and Assessment

An Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) assesses an application in the light of Appendix V, Immigration Rules. And evaluates an applicant’s intentions on the principle of balance of probabilities. However, for proving genuine intentions the onus of proof is on the applicant. Accordingly, on a balance of probabilities, decides whether an applicant is able to meet the requirement:

  1. Is the purpose of visiting credible?
  2. What are the financial and personal circumstances of an applicant?
  3. What is immigration and travel history of the applicant?
  4. The duration of foreign trips and time spent in the United Kingdom for repeat visitors
  5. Is an applicant making the UK his/her main home (for repeat visitors)?
  6. What is the duration and frequency of visits (for repeat visitors)?
  7. The risk perception of an applicant’s country of residence.
  8. Other possible grounds for doubting the intentions

The meaning of onus of proof

An applicant needs to provide clear and conclusive evidence to establish personal circumstances and credibility. Certainly, a failure to do so is one of the common UK general visitor visa refusal reasons. Accordingly, if an ECO is not satisfied that an applicant may be able to either maintain himself during the trip or return to the home country then the ECO is quite likely to conclude by raising questions about the credibility and genuine intentions of visiting the British Isles.

The meaning of balance of probabilities

In the context of the assessment process, the balance of probabilities means the overall credibility of the applicant and authenticity of the evidence. Please note: in the assessment process there is no room for benefit of doubt i.e. if the decision-maker has even an iota of doubt about the credibility then the likely outcome is a refusal. Moreover, the principle of balance of probabilities is not applicable if the UK visa refusal reasons relates to suitability grounds under Part V 3 paragraphs V 3.2-11 of Appendix V for visitors. In fact, even if an applicant meets all the eligibility requirements.

Misleading and Incorrect UK Visitor Visa Refusal Reasons

Perhaps, there are quite a few posts (if not all) that seem to have incorrect information relating to UK visa refusal reasons due to:

  1. Mixing up the UK visa rejection reasons for different categories in one post
  2. Providing information relating to frivolous refusal reasons
  3. Terming isolated instances as UK visa rejection reasons

Therefore, instead of guiding the applicants in the light of Immigration Rules, such information has become a constant source of misguidance.

The meaning of UK Visa Refusal Reasons under Appendix V

Apparently, when we talk about UK visa rejection reasons, we actually mean to say UK general visitor visa refusal reasons under Appendix V of the Immigration Rules. However, some posts mention refusal reasons relating to spouse visa such as relationship requirements as a UK visa refusal reasons, which is grossly misleading.

What are not UK visa refusal reasons?

In the context of UK visitor visa refusal reasons, a frivolous reason is the one which is not covered under Appendix V, Immigration Rules and the refusal letter. For instance, apparently, some website states ‘wrong application’ and ‘payment of fee’ as a rejection reason. However, these are quite erroneous refusal reasons. Certainly, an applicant first needs to pay the UK visa application fee online before taking out the print out machine-readable (barcoded) application form. Therefore, there is no chance of refusal of a UK standard visitor visa due to the application fee. Moreover, 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.

Isolated instances and overall circumstances

Certainly, the UK visa application requirements take a holistic account of the circumstances of an applicant. Accordingly, a decision is made on a balance of probabilities. Therefore, it is not expedient to mention isolated instances such as limited travel history, unclear itinerary, lack of salary deposits in the bank account, lack of detailed cover letter etc as UK visa refusal reasons.

For instance, an applicant having a limited travel history, with strong family and business ties has a better chance in getting a visa than a person with frequent travel history but weak ties to the home country. Therefore, in order to get an entry clearance, an applicant should focus on his/her strengths rather than on weakness!

Do ECOs really scrutinize the application?

Yes, the entry clearance officer (ECO) has the requisite training and expertise to scrutinize the UK standard visitor visa applications. Accordingly, if an ECO doubts the intentions of an applicant then refuses the UK tourist or family visit visa application. Therefore, it is very important to clarify the purpose of the visit. And also to provide necessary documents to establish strong ties with the home country. However, if an applicant fails to document the application properly then the ECO may not have any other option but to refuse the application.

The Possible Outcomes

In fact, the assessment process concludes with the following four types of decisions:

  1. Grant of visa as per the request of the applicant. For instance, the grant of 6-months visa if an applicant has applied for a 6-months visa
  2. Borderline decisions: grants of a visa, which is less than the expectations of an applicant. For instance, the ECO grants a single entry visa for 30 days, instead of the 6-months multiple entry visa.
  3. If during the assessment process the ECO doubts the intentions of an applicant then instead of granting a visa, the passport is returned with a Refusal Letter, stating the refusal reasons.
  4. refusal on the suitability grounds, which may also include a re-entry ban or 10-year deception ban.

What is a borderline decision?

At times, a borderline decision may yield a favourable outcome. However, the result may not commensurate with the expectations of an applicant. For instance, issuance of 6 months visa even if the applicant has paid fee for a long-term visa.

The Visa Assessment Timelines

Quite clearly, the assessment process is not an open-ended process. Perhaps, in most of the instances, the ECO does not take much time to decide an application. Therefore, the assessment process (i.e. reviewing the GWF Application Form and the supporting documents) should not take more than a few hours- perhaps even less. Accordingly, the decision-maker forms an opinion about the overall credibility of the applicant. And makes a decision accordingly. If the ECO verifies the documents, requests for documents or interview then this may delay the processing time. However, if any case, what is important is the outcome and not the time duration.

Do ECOs make inadvertent mistakes?

Yes, like any other human being ECOs are prone to make an inadvertent mistake. Perhaps, at times due to workload, they just skim through the application. If the UK visa refusal letter does not justify the facts then an applicant can file an immigration judicial review.

So, what to do after the UK visitor visa refusal?

Perhaps, after receiving a simple refusal, it is quite possible to reapply. However, keeping in view the nature and details of the refusal, an applicant can decide whether to challenge a refusal or reapply after rejection. Moreover, an authorized immigration solicitor can either challenge a refusal decision on behalf of an applicant or represents a reapplication.

What if an applicant gets a 10-year ban on general grounds?

Perhaps, quite a few applications get a deception ban on General Grounds, mainly due to false documents or making false statements in the application or during the interview.

Please note: in case of a 10-year BAN, any future applications are automatically refused up-to 10 years. Therefore, if an applicant thinks that the BAN is not justified then he/she needs to the challenge the refusal through a Judicial Review, as there is No Right of Appeal even in case of a UK family visitor visa application since June 25, 2013.

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Country-specific details:

Moreover, to know the country-specific details of UK visa and immigration applications please refer to Egypt, Ghana, India, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE and the USA.