A Guide to UK Visa Cancellation under Appendix V for Visitors

This relates to UK visa cancellation in the light of permitted and prohibited activities under Part V9 of Appendix V, Immigration Rules. Moreover, explains the difference between visa application cancellation by the applicant and UK visa cancelled by the Home Office. Please note, when a visitor visa is cancelled (or curtailed) at the port of entry (such as an airport) or inside the UK by the Home Office then it has serious repercussions on the present and future credibility of an applicant. However, the cancelling an online application is quite common, especially before making the fee payment.

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1. Overview

UK Visa Cancelled under Part V9 of Appendix V

A visa national or non-visa national can only visit the UK under certain restrictions. And it is important for a visitor to adhere to these restrictions while visiting the UK. Therefore, if a visitor fails to abide by these restrictions, then visa or leave to enter (remain) can be cancelled (or curtailed).

Accordingly, a visitor needs to satisfy that they will continue to meet the suitability and eligibility requirements. Therefore, a leave to enter or remain may be cancelled or curtailed if there is a piece of evidence to establish that a visitor’s circumstances or purpose of visiting the UK has changed. The Home Office may cancel a UK visitor visa or leave to enter/remain if there are doubts that the visitor will:

  1. not undertake any permitted activity as a genuine visitor
  2. marry or form a civil partnership and does not have a marriage visitor visa for the purpose
  3. work, volunteer, or study other than as permitted under the Immigration Rules for visitors
  4. settle in the UK as a spouse/partner of a British citizen or that of a settled person

If there is a political conflict or social unrest in the visitor’s home country, then there may be some doubts that a visitor may not leave the UK at the end of the visit. Therefore, Home Office or the Immigration Officer at the port of entry (airport) may cancel or curtail the visa issued for visiting the UK.

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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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    2. UK Visitor Visa Cancellation Reasons

    UK Visa Cancelled under Part V9 of Appendix V

    The possible reasons for UK visitor visa cancellation may be related to breaching the conditions of stay in the UK by undertaking a prohibited activity. Moreover, a UK visa can also be cancelled due to the implications of paragraph V 9.1, and paragraphs V9.4 – V9.12 of Appendix V for Visitors, Immigration Rules.

    Prohibited Activities

    In terms of Appendix V of the Immigration Rules, the UK visa is cancelled if the visitor:

    1. does paid or unpaid work
    2. gets employment
    3. receives payments – except as permitted by paragraph V4.7 of Appendix V
    4. studies – except as permitted by paragraph 25 of Appendix 3
    5. undergoes medical treatment other than private medical treatment or to donate an organ
    6. gets marriage or form civil partnership – except where the visitor has a visit visa endorsed for marriage or civil partnership
    7. gives notice of marriage or civil partnership
    8. lives for prolonged periods of time through frequent visits

    Therefore, if there are doubts about the suitability of a visitor then the UK visitor visa is cancelled.

    Part V9 of Appendix V

    In terms of paragraph V 9.1 of Appendix V, Immigration Rules, UKVI/Home Office can cancel a UK visitor visa due to the following reasons:

    • Change of circumstances of the applicant
    • Change of purpose of visiting the UK
    • False information or failure to disclose material facts
    • Medical reasons
    • The visitor is not conducive to the public good in the UK
    • Failure to supply information
    • Curtailment due to
      • false information or failure to disclose a material fact
      • failure to meet requirements of the immigration rules
      • failure to comply with conditions
      • Not conducive to the public good

    Other Circumstances

    The Paragraphs V9.4 – V9.12 of Appendix V for visitor provides a list of other circumstances that may necessitate cancelling or curtailing a leave to enter or remain. For instance, if a visitor has submitted false documents, made false representations, not disclosed material facts or there is an information to establish any of the previously mentioned then the UKVI/Home Office curtails or cancels the UK visitor visa or leave to enter/remain.

    3. Permitted Activities for Visitors in the UK

    UK Visa Cancelled under Part V9 of Appendix V

    Since there are more than one type of UK visitor visa. Therefore, a visitor can only undertake permitted activities depending on the type of their visitor visa. However, in most of the instances, a visitor can undertake the following permitted activities:

    1. Tourism and leisure
    2. Volunteering
    3. Private medical treatment
    4. Transit
    5. Business
    6. Conversion of a civil partnership into a marriage
    7. Study up to 30 days
    8. Participate in an exchange program
    9. Educational visit

    Standard Visitors

    Appendix 3 of Appendix V for Visitors provides the details of the permitted activities for standard visitors. Accordingly, a person on a standard visitor visa can undertake:

    1. tourism and leisure
    2. volunteering
    3. business-related activities
    4. transit the UK

    Approved Destination Status (ADS) Agreement

    A visitor on ADS can only visit the UK for tourism and leisure for up to 30 days. However, cannot undertake any other permitted activities such as volunteering, business-related activity, transit etc.

    Marriage Visitors

    A person visiting the UK on a marriage or civil partnership visitor visa can:

    1. get married or form a civil partnership
    2. give notice of marriage/civil partnership
    3. tourism and leisure
    4. do volunteering
    5. undertake a permitted business-related activity
    6. transit the UK

    Permitted paid engagement (PPE)

    A visitor on a permitted paid engagements (PPE) visa in the UK can under any PPE related activity as per Appendix 4 of Appendix V. Moreover, can undertake other permitted relating to tourism, leisure, volunteering, and any business-related activity. However, a visitor on PPE visa cannot transit the UK.


    Unlike other types of visitors, a transit visitor cannot undertake any of the permitted activities relating to tourism, leisure, volunteering, and business.

    4. FAQs

    UK Visa Cancelled under Part V9 of Appendix V

    Can a visitor live with family in the UK?

    No, a visitor can only STAY with a family member for a short duration. Certainly, there is no provision to LIVE with family members on a visitor visa. Therefore, if a person intends to live with a family member, then needs to apply for entry clearance under the family routes such as spouse, parent, adult dependent relative etc.

    Can a visitor look after a child in the UK?

    Yes, a visiting family member can look after a child only for a short duration. However, the visiting family member should not be intending to get employed as a childminder– i.e. a person who looks after children in their own home for payment.

    Can a visitor undertake volunteering in the UK?

    Yes, Appendix 3 of the Immigration Rules allows a traveller to undertake “volunteering” with a registered charity. However, Appendix V does not allow travellers to undertake voluntary work. Moreover, volunteering must not be the main purpose of visiting the UK. And cumulatively should not be for more than 30 days. Therefore, UK standard visitor visa applications solely for the purpose of volunteering are likely to get rejected. If an applicant is wishing to travel to the UK for either volunteering or voluntary work, then should apply for PBS Tier 5 Charity worker visa.

    Can a visitor study a recreation course in the UK?

    Yes, as per Appendix V, visitors can study a recreation course, which does not lead to formal education, for a maximum period of 30 days. For instance, a recreational course relating to horse riding or dancing. Although, there are some exceptions for long-term visa holders; however, travellers usually cannot make a visit solely for study. Please note, if either a person intends to study for more than 30 days, or study is the main purpose then needs to apply for a short-term study visa.

    Does a visa cancelled due to repeat study visits to the UK?

    Indeed, a visitor cannot make frequent or repeat visits to complete a long term study course. Therefore, the UK visitor visa cancelled at the port of entry (airport) if a person is making repeat visits for study. However, a long-term visa holder can:

    1. visit solely to study a non-recreation course up-to 30 days
    2. study a recreational course for more than 30-days per visit at an accredited institution
    3. visit up to 30 days for studying a course such as a distance learning course, which is longer than 30 days

    Certainly, the previously mentioned exceptions do not apply to holders of single-entry visas. And do not apply for non-visa nationals, who are applying for leave to enter as a visitor at the border (airport). However, the main purpose of a long-term visa holder should continue to undertake permitted activities. Accordingly, the time spent studying must not exceed the time spent carrying out other permitted activities. Moreover, if the successive visits are not for permitted activities, then the immigration officer can refuse the entry clearance and may also cancel the long term visitor visa.

    Educational Exchange Visits

    For educational exchange visits:

    1. the visiting children should be full-time students in their home country
    2. the accompanying teachers or adults should also be employed overseas
    3. only purpose of Educational Exchange Visit is to broaden the horizons and deepen intercultural understanding
    4. schools can decide the precise nature of the visit, but needs to furnish the requisite evidence
    5. the maximum duration of the visit should not be longer than 30 days
    6. if the duration is longer than 30 days then the decision-maker evaluates whether the programme tantamount to course of study, which could only be carried out under a study route

    Public Education for Children of Visiting Academics

    Indeed, it is possible for the dependant children of visiting academics to get an education at a public school. However, admission to public maintained schools is not an immigration matter. The Department of Education has policy responsibility for admissions to schools in England. Accordingly, a public school or a local authority is the decision-maker.

    What are the Permitted Activities for Business Visitors in the UK?

    Certainly, a visitor can undertake a host of business-related activities permitted in Appendix 3 of Appendix V such as:

    1. General business activities relating to attending meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews, negotiating contracts, signing deals, attending trade fairs, undertaking site visits and inspection etc. Moreover, a visitor can also deliver non-commercial talks and speeches
    2. Business corporate activities relating to the prospective entrepreneur for startup and innovator visa under Appendix W, manufacturing and supply of goods, clients of UK export companies etc.
    3. Sector-specific permitted business activities for science, research, academia, legal, religion, creative and sport
    4. Business – overseas roles requiring specific activities
    5. Work-related training

    Can an artist perform in a permit-free festival?

    Yes, an artist, entertainer or musician can perform at one or more of the permit-free festivals listed in Appendix 5 of Appendix V. Moreover, the visiting artist can also receive payment for performance at the permit-free festival.

    Can a person change the reason for visiting the UK?

    Yes, a visitor can enter or extend the visit to do different permitted activities. However, the main reason(s) for travelling must be visiting. Accordingly, when a visitor holds a long-term visa then it is quite natural that the reason for visiting may differ over time. This is permissible, provided the applicant continues to undertake one or more permitted activities. Therefore, it is not a sufficient reason to cancel a visitor visa on arrival due to a change in the declared permitted activity.

    Please note, the main purpose of visiting for a long-term visa holder may change overtime. Moreover, it is also possible that a visitor may not be able to undertake an expressly permitted activity. Accordingly, the visitor may change the primary purpose before or on arrival at the border. For instance, a person intended to take part in a sporting event, which is cancelled, and now the visitor is coming for holidays instead. Since a visitor is allowed to undertake any permitted activity, therefore, the immigration rules allow such a change in purpose.

    5. Fee Refund

    UK Visitor Visa Application Cancellation and Fee Refund

    Yes, an applicant can cancel a UK visa application and can solicit for a fee refund up to 8 weeks from the date of the application- only if the applicant has not gone through the biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) at the UKVAC. For instance, an applicant completed the online application form and paid the fee on April 9, 2021, with an appointment on April 12, 2021, at UKVAC Mumbai. However, if the applicant subsequently cancels the application without taking biometrics on April 12, 2019, then can claim the fee refund up-to 8 weeks from April 9, 2021, i.e. up to June 4, 2021.

    However, if the applicant attended the appointment on April 12, 2019, and takes the biometrics at UKVAC Mumbai and only subsequently decided to cancel the application then the applicant will not be eligible for a UK visa fees refund.

    Moreover, an applicant from outside the UK will not get a fee refund in case of a refusal decision because the charges are for the consideration of the UK visa application and certainly not for the grant of a visa.