Immigration Specialists London

UK Visa Success Rate by Country: This comprehensive analysis delves into the UK visa refusal rate by country and success rates for 2019 and 2018, covering all entry clearance applications including Visitor, Family (Spouse), Work, Tier 1 High Value Migrants, Tier 2 Skilled Workers, Tier 4 Students, and Tier 5 Temporary Workers. The article also offers insights into the UK visa approval and rejection rates post-Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions, specifically focusing on the July-Sept 2020 Q3 period. It provides a detailed understanding of the trends and factors influencing visa decisions during these times.

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UK Visa Success Rate by Country 2019

1. UK Visa Success Rate Overview 2019


According to the Official Statistics in 2019, 3,620,891 Entry Clearance Applications submitted from outside the UK. Accordingly, 3,628,404 decisions made, and 3,179,235 visas granted, 439,949 applications rejected, 9,155 applications withdrawn, and sixty-five applications lapsed. Therefore, the UK visa success and refusal rate in 2019 is 87.62% and 12.13%, respectively.

In 2018, the total number of entry clearance grants were 2,902,009. However, in 2019, the number of grants experienced an upward trend due to the increase in the number of applications. Accordingly, during 2019 the total number of grants increased by 277,226 (9.55%) to reach a level of 3,179,235.

Visa CategoryUK Visa Success Rate 2019 (Grants 2019)
Total Work Visas96.21% (193,517)
PBS Tier 1 High Value Migrants82.54% (5,664)
Tier 2 Skilled Workers98.45% (113,958)
Tier 5 Youth Mobility and Temporary Workers96.57% (43,576)
Non-PBS Work Visas90.73% (30,319)
Total Study Visas96.03% (405,353)
Tier 4 Students98.32% (285,508)
Non-PBS Study Visas90.98% (119,845)
Total Family Visas79.78% (56,647)
Total dependent joining or accompanying others92.41% (9,472)
EEA Family Permits48.70% (46,111)
EUSS Family Permits76.94% (6,690)
Total Visitor Visas87.46% (2,417,260)
Transit and Other Visas77.84% (44,185)
Overall UK Visa Success Rate 201987.62% (3,179,235)
UK Visa Success Rate 2019 and Entry Clearance Grants

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Impact

During July-Sept 2020 (Q3) after reopening of UKVAC due to Coronavirus (Covid-19), 292,753 Entry Clearance Applications submitted from outside the UK. Accordingly, 293,021 decisions made, and 255,854 visas granted, 34,390 applications rejected, 2,774 applications withdrawn, and 92 applications lapsed. Therefore, the UK visa success and refusal rates after Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions in 2020Q3 are 87.32% and 11.74%, respectively.

Please note, in July-Sept 2019Q3, UKVI made 1,143,819 decisions. Therefore, the number of decisions made on UK visa applications in 2020Q3 were 3 times less than that in 2019Q3 due to Coronavirus (Covid-19). The UK visa success rate in 2020Q3 (87.32%) is slightly lower than approval ratio in 2019Q3 (88.42%), due to an increase in visitor visa refusal rate from 12.3% to 22.75%.

2. 2019 UK Visitor Visa Success Rates


In 2019, 2,764,288 Entry Clearance Applications submitted for visitor visa. Accordingly, 2,763,746 decisions made, and 2,417,260 visitor visas granted. Moreover, 340,797 visitor visa applications rejected during 2019. Therefore, the UK visitor visa success rate 2019 is 87.46%. And the UK visa refusal rate 2019 is 12.33%. Moreover, 5,645 visitor visa applications withdrawn, and forty-four applications lapsed during 2019.

UK Visitor Visa Refusal Rate by Country 2019

During 2019, Chinese (666,301), Indian (579,149), Russian (135,574), Nigerian (132,996), Saudi (123,282), Pakistani (110,739), and South African (104,821) nationals made the highest number of UK visitor visa applications. In fact, the UK visitor visa refusal rate 2019 amongst the top twenty was the highest for Algerian (45.47%), Ghanaian (42.63%) and Bangladeshi (40.35%) nationals. However, the UK visitor refusal rate 2019 was also high for Pakistani (37.20%), Nigerian (32.16%), and Sri Lankan (23.07%) nationals. Moreover, within the top twenty, the lowest UK visitor visa refusal rate 2019 was for Saudi (0.30%), Russian (1.23%), Chinese (3.06%), South African (3.11%) and Colombian (3.38%) nationals. The UK visitor visa refusal rate 2019 for nationalities not included in the top twenty was 21.57%.

NationalityUK Visa Refusal Rate by Country 2019
China3.06%
India10.98%
Russia1.23%
Nigeria32.16%
Saudi Arabia0.30%
Pakistan37.20%
South Africa3.11%
Turkey13.88%
Thailand3.67%
Indonesia3.42%
Ukraine9.29%
Philippines10.89%
Egypt22.21%
Ghana42.63%
Bangladesh40.35%
Sri Lanka23.07%
Morocco22.49%
Colombia3.38%
Algeria45.47%
Vietnam14.36%
Other nationalities21.57%
Total12.33%
UK Visa Refusal Rate by Country 2019 for Visitors and Tourists

3. Student Visa Success in UK: 2019 Data


In 2019, 292,720 Entry Clearance Applications submitted for PBS Tier 4 Student visa. Accordingly, 290,378 decisions made, and 285,508 Tier 4 student visas granted. Moreover, 4,414 Tier 4 student visa applications rejected during 2019. Therefore, the UK Tier 4 student visa success rate 2019 is 98.32%. And the UK Tier 4 student visa refusal rate 2019 is 1.52%. Moreover, 455 applications withdrawn, and one application lapsed during 2019.

NationalityTier 4 Student Visa UK Refusal Rate by Country 2019
China0.21%
India1.68%
United States0.69%
Saudi Arabia2.04%
Nigeria7.80%
Hong Kong0.37%
Malaysia0.40%
Pakistan9.27%
Thailand0.16%
Korea (South)0.35%
Kuwait1.03%
Canada0.24%
Taiwan0.17%
Japan0.35%
Indonesia0.76%
Turkey0.80%
Singapore0.24%
Vietnam2.73%
Bangladesh7.76%
Russia0.94%
Other nationalities4.11%
UK Student Visa Refusal Rate 20191.52%
UK Visa Refusal Rate by Country 2019 for Students

4. Family Visa UK Success Rates 2019


In 2019, 58,897 Entry Clearance Applications submitted for UK family visa. Accordingly, 71,006 decisions made, and 56,647 family visas granted. Moreover, 13,924 family visa applications rejected during 2019. Therefore, the UK family (spouse) visa success rate 2019 is 79.78%. And the UK family (spouse) visa refusal rate 2019 is 19.61%. Moreover, 426 family visa applications withdrawn, and nine applications lapsed during 2019. During 2019, Pakistani (8,985), Indian (4,278), Nepali (2,856), US (2,856), Bangladeshi (2,581), Eritrean (2,562), and Iranian (2,229) nationals made the greatest number of UK family (spouse) settlement visa applications.

Please note, the UK family visa route covers visas where an individual is applying for a visa based on their relationship to a person settled in the UK or a British citizen. This includes spouse settlement visa, adult dependent relative, parent of a British Child visa etc. However, the family route does not include the ‘joining or accompanying’ entry clearance applications. In fact, the ‘joining or accompanying’ route is for those individuals who are applying for visa based on their relationship to another migrant who is not settled in the UK or a British citizen, and who is on a route without a specific visa for dependents.

UK Spouse Visa Refusal Rate by Country 2019

In fact, the UK family (spouse) visa refusal rate 2019 amongst the top twenty was the highest for Nepali (31.91%), Eritrean (29.92%) and Ghanaian (29.50%) nationals. However, the UK family (spouse) visa refusal rate 2019 was also high for Sudanese (28.11%), Syrian (27.65%), and Nigerian (27.60%) nationals. Moreover, within the top twenty, the lowest UK family (spouse) visa refusal rate 2019 was for Iranian (9.64%), South African (9.96%), Iraqi (10.79%), US (11.10%) and Australian (12.07%) nationals. The UK family (spouse) visa refusal rate 2019 for nationalities not included in the top twenty was 22.31%.

NationalityFamily Visa UK Refusal Rate by Country 2019
Pakistan15.57%
India17.29%
Nepal31.91%
United States11.10%
Bangladesh16.66%
Eritrea29.92%
Iran9.64%
South Africa9.96%
Nigeria27.60%
Sudan28.11%
Philippines16.56%
Syria27.65%
Afghanistan22.23%
China15.00%
Ghana29.50%
Sri Lanka15.54%
Turkey15.33%
Thailand16.08%
Iraq10.79%
Australia12.07%
Other nationalities22.31%
Family Visa UK Refusal Rate 201919.61%
UK Spouse Visa Refusal Rate by Country 2019

5. Work Visa UK: Success Rate 2019


In 2019, 201,756 Entry Clearance Applications submitted for UK work visa. Accordingly, 201,150 decisions made, and 193,517 visitor visas granted under the following categories:

  • Non-PBS work – 30,319
  • Tier 1 (High value) – 5,664
  • Tier 2 (Skilled) – 113,958
  • PBS Tier 5 (Youth mobility and temporary worker) – 43,576

Moreover, 7,046 work visa applications rejected during 2019. Therefore, the UK work visa success rate 2019 is 96.21%. And the UK Visa Refusal Rate 2019 is 3.50%. Additionally, 585 applications withdrawn, and two applications lapsed during 2019.

UK Work Visa Refusal Rate by Country 2019

During 2019, Indian (65,776), Filipino (18,365), Australian (14,259), US (13,842), Turkish (7,599), Chinese (6,475) and Canadian (5,966) nationals made the greatest number of UK work visa entry clearance applications. In fact, the UK work visa refusal rate 2019 amongst the top twenty was the highest for Pakistani (12.22%) and Turkish (10.99%) nationals. However, the UK work visa refusal rate 2019 was also high for Indonesian (8.72%) and Nigerian (7.11%) nationals. Moreover, within the top twenty, the lowest UK work visa refusal rate 2019 was for Japanese (0.61%), Ukrainian (1.01%), Australian (1.27%), New Zealand (1.51%) and US (1.67%) citizens. The UK work visa refusal rate 2019 for nationalities not included in the top twenty was 6.7%.

NationalityWork Visa UK Refusal Rate by Country 2019
India1.62%
Philippines5.21%
Australia1.27%
United States1.67%
Turkey10.99%
China2.22%
Canada1.82%
Nigeria7.11%
Pakistan12.22%
New Zealand1.51%
South Africa3.19%
Japan0.61%
Egypt4.82%
Ukraine1.01%
Russia3.09%
Hong Kong4.63%
Korea (South)1.43%
Brazil4.13%
Sri Lanka3.99%
Indonesia8.72%
Other nationalities6.70%
Work Visa UK Refusal Rate 20193.50%
UK Work Visa Refusal Rate by Country 2019

Tier 2 Skilled Workers

In 2019, 115,403 Entry Clearance Applications submitted for Tier 2 work visa. Accordingly, 115,747 decisions made, and 113,958 Tier 2 visas granted. Moreover, 1,686 Tier 2 visa applications rejected during 2019. Therefore, the Tier 2 visa success rate 2019 is 98.45%. And the Tier 2 visa refusal rate 2019 is 1.46%. Moreover, 102 Tier 2 visa applications withdrawn, and one application lapsed during 2019.

NationalityTier 2 Skilled Work Visa UK Refusal Rate by Country 2019
India0.83%
United States0.94%
Philippines0.99%
Nigeria3.49%
Australia1.04%
Japan0.28%
Pakistan3.79%
China1.69%
Egypt1.66%
South Africa2.98%
Canada1.36%
Russia1.97%
Brazil2.59%
Turkey2.67%
Zimbabwe6.67%
Sudan2.82%
Korea (South)0.65%
New Zealand1.74%
Sri Lanka2.79%
Jamaica5.32%
Other nationalities3.02%
Tier 2 Skilled Work Visa UK Refusal Rate 20191.46%
Tier 2 Skilled Work Visa UK Refusal Rate by Country 2019

Tier 5 Temporary Workers

In 2019, 44,546 Entry Clearance Applications submitted for Tier 5 work visa. Accordingly, 45,123 decisions made, and 43,576 Tier 5 visas granted. Moreover, 1,329 Tier 5 visa applications rejected during 2019. Therefore, the Tier 5 visa success rate 2019 is 96.57%. And the Tier 5 visa refusal rate 2019 is 2.95%. Moreover, 218 Tier 5 visa applications withdrawn, and no application lapsed during 2019.

NationalityTier 5 Temporary Worker Visa UK Refusal Rate by Country 2019
Australia1.27%
New Zealand1.50%
Canada1.70%
United States3.46%
India4.62%
Ukraine0.38%
China1.05%
Japan1.10%
Korea (South)1.30%
Hong Kong2.34%
Pakistan10.50%
Taiwan1.67%
Nigeria16.97%
Russia1.24%
Turkey1.01%
South Africa8.25%
Sri Lanka1.79%
Brazil2.66%
Argentina0.47%
Saudi Arabia2.42%
Other nationalities6.47%
Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa UK Refusal Rate 20192.95%
Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa UK Refusal Rate by Country 2019

6. UK Visa Success Rates: 2018 Summary


According to the Official Statistics in April-June 2018 quarter, 1,100,856 Applications submitted for UK Entry Clearance Visa from across the globe. Accordingly, 1,041,108 entry clearance decisions made, and 937,845 visas granted. Moreover, 100,684 entry clearance applications rejected. Therefore, the UK visa success rate of 90.08% and UK Visa Refusal Rate of 9.67% reported for 2018 Q2. Moreover, 2,553 applications were withdrawn, and twenty-six applications lapsed during the quarter.

Application TypeUK Visa Success Rate 2018
Tier 1 High Value Migrants
Tier 1 – General (Main Applicants)0.00%
Tier 1 – Investors (Main Applicants)97.87%
Tier 1 – Entrepreneurs (Main Applicants)56.24%
Tier 1 – Graduate entrepreneurs (Main Applicants)100.00%
Tier 1 – Exceptional Talent (Main Applicants)99.19%
Tier 1 – Other (Main Applicants)0.00%
Other permit free employment – High value (Main Applicants)74.46%
Tier 1 – General (Dependent)66.67%
Tier 1 – Investors (Dependent)93.46%
Tier 1 – Entrepreneurs (Dependent)81.79%
Tier 1 – Graduate entrepreneurs (Dependent)90.48%
Tier 1 – Post Study (Dependent)0.00%
Tier 1 – Exceptional Talent (Dependent)97.26%
Tier 1 – Other (Dependent)0.00%
Tier 2 High Skilled Workers
Tier 2 – General (Main Applicants)96.64%
Tier 2 – Intra Company Transfers (Main Applicants)98.70%
Tier 2 – Intra Company Transfers Short Term (Main Applicants)100.00%
Tier 2 – Intra Company Transfers Long Term (Main Applicants)99.55%
Tier 2 – Ministers of Religion (Main Applicants)83.21%
Tier 2 – Sportsperson (Main Applicants)100.00%
Work Permit Holders (Main Applicants)97.30%
Tier 2 – Dependent95.47%
Tier 2 – Intra Company Transfers Short Term (Dependent)100.00%
Tier 2 – Intra Company Transfers Long Term (Dependent)99.52%
Work Permit Holders (Dependent)93.94%
Tier 5 Temporary Workers
Tier 5 – Charity Workers (Main Applicants)80.97%
Tier 5 – Creative and Sporting (Main Applicants)93.01%
Tier 5 – Government Authorised Exchange (Main Applicants)98.68%
Tier 5 – International Agreement (Main Applicants)90.06%
Tier 5 – Religious Workers (Main Applicants)86.23%
Tier 5 – Youth Mobility (Main Applicants)97.74%
Tier 5 – Dependent92.33%
Other Non-PBS Work Visas
Domestic workers in Private Households (Main Applicants)89.66%
UK Ancestry (Main Applicants)95.06%
Other permit free employment – Non-PBS (Main Applicants)83.60%
Domestic workers in Private Households (Dependent)36.36%
Other permit free employment not allocated (Main Applicants)99.28%
Students
Tier 4 – General student (Main Applicants)98.38%
Tier 4 – Child student (Main Applicants)96.58%
Tier 4 – General student (Dependent)92.31%
Short-term study (previously Student Visitors)94.52%
Family
Family: Partner78.53%
Family: Partner (for immediate settlement)92.98%
Family: Child66.52%
Family: Child (for immediate settlement)53.35%
Family: Other69.03%
Family: Other (for immediate settlement)26.42%
Joining or accompanying: Partner94.48%
Joining or accompanying: Child94.26%
Joining or accompanying: Other60.00%
Visitors and Other Temporary
EEA family permits58.34%
Visitors (Main Applicants)89.35%
Visitors (Dependent)92.38%
Transit92.46%
Other temporary97.28%
Certificate of entitlement to right of abode87.55%
Other settlement (indefinite leave)84.79%
UK Visa Success Rate 201890.08%
UK Visa Success Rate 2018 by Type of Application

7. 2018 UK Visa Success Rate by Country


During Q2 2018, Chinese (261,998), Indian (237,500), Saudi (49,808), Russian (48,429) and Turkish (39,096) nationals made the most applications for UK visa and immigration. The UK visa refusal rate amongst the top ten was the highest for Nigerian (35.68%) and Pakistani (30.10%) nationals. However, the refusal rate was also high for Filipino (10.08%), Indian (8.24%) and Turkish (7.16%) nationals. Moreover, within the top ten, the lowest UK visa refusal rate was for Saudi (0.60%) and Russian (1.03%), Chinese (1.47%), South African (1.79%) and Thai (3.79%) nationals.

Country of NationalityUK Visa Success Rate by Country 2018Q2
Afghanistan55.99%
Albania64.12%
Algeria50.35%
American Samoa0.00%
Andorra100.00%
Angola77.08%
Anguilla (British)0.00%
Antigua and Barbuda40.00%
Argentina86.74%
Armenia89.57%
Aruba0.00%
Australia95.60%
Austria0.00%
Azerbaijan79.18%
Bahamas, The83.33%
Bahrain99.14%
Bangladesh71.76%
Barbados89.19%
Belarus95.81%
Belgium0.00%
Belize100.00%
Benin37.06%
Bermuda (British)0.00%
Bhutan90.32%
Bolivia90.74%
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba0.00%
Bosnia and Herzegovina93.33%
Botswana82.86%
Brazil78.64%
British overseas citizens100.00%
Brunei100.00%
Bulgaria50.00%
Burkina70.54%
Burma81.99%
Burundi46.46%
Cambodia81.88%
Cameroon57.91%
Canada94.88%
Cape Verde77.14%
Cayman Islands (British)0.00%
Central African Republic66.67%
Chad57.14%
Chile87.74%
China98.45%
Christmas Island0.00%
Cocos (Keeling) Islands0.00%
Colombia94.29%
Comoros75.00%
Congo61.75%
Congo (Democratic Republic)45.97%
Cook Islands0.00%
Costa Rica80.00%
Croatia100.00%
Cuba87.42%
Curacao0.00%
Cyprus15.38%
Cyprus (Northern part of)81.20%
Czech Republic0.00%
Denmark0.00%
Djibouti73.68%
Dominica90.48%
Dominican Republic84.56%
East Timor100.00%
Ecuador90.64%
Egypt75.29%
El Salvador100.00%
Equatorial Guinea57.14%
Eritrea73.14%
Estonia0.00%
Ethiopia61.75%
Falkland Islands (British)0.00%
Faroe Islands0.00%
Fiji77.64%
Finland0.00%
Former Yugoslavia0.00%
France100.00%
French Guiana0.00%
French Polynesia0.00%
Gabon80.99%
Gambia, The47.47%
Georgia79.63%
Germany100.00%
Ghana57.48%
Gibraltar (British)0.00%
Greece0.00%
Greenland0.00%
Grenada77.78%
Guadeloupe0.00%
Guam0.00%
Guatemala60.00%
Guinea56.65%
Guinea-Bissau41.10%
Guyana90.55%
Haiti86.57%
Heard Island and McDonald Islands0.00%
Honduras100.00%
Hong Kong93.21%
Hungary0.00%
Iceland0.00%
India91.58%
Indonesia95.94%
Iran53.29%
Iraq52.47%
Ireland0.00%
Israel90.33%
Italy50.00%
Ivory Coast60.90%
Jamaica80.40%
Japan97.69%
Jordan89.04%
Kazakhstan93.93%
Kenya84.82%
Kiribati0.00%
Korea (North)100.00%
Korea (South)97.45%
Kosovo72.48%
Kuwait97.43%
Kyrgyzstan77.72%
Laos86.41%
Latvia100.00%
Lebanon86.74%
Lesotho96.61%
Liberia67.74%
Libya47.82%
Liechtenstein0.00%
Lithuania0.00%
Luxembourg0.00%
Macau100.00%
Macedonia92.97%
Madagascar88.74%
Malawi84.26%
Malaysia89.35%
Maldives88.89%
Mali74.83%
Malta0.00%
Marshall Islands0.00%
Martinique0.00%
Mauritania69.70%
Mauritius79.27%
Mayotte0.00%
Mexico87.70%
Micronesia0.00%
Moldova77.79%
Monaco100.00%
Mongolia74.56%
Montenegro96.27%
Montserrat (British)0.00%
Morocco75.38%
Mozambique80.91%
Namibia72.97%
Nauru0.00%
Nepal74.25%
Netherlands100.00%
New Caledonia0.00%
New Zealand94.46%
Nicaragua50.00%
Niger79.45%
Nigeria64.03%
Niue0.00%
Norfolk Island0.00%
Northern Mariana Islands0.00%
Norway0.00%
Palestine68.03%
Oman97.88%
Other and unknown73.41%
Pakistan69.70%
Palau0.00%
Panama87.50%
Papua New Guinea60.00%
Paraguay73.33%
Peru94.19%
Philippines89.66%
Pitcairn Islands (British)0.00%
Poland0.00%
Portugal0.00%
Puerto Rico0.00%
Qatar96.71%
Refugee67.54%
Reunion0.00%
Romania25.00%
Russia98.52%
Rwanda74.75%
Samoa0.00%
San Marino0.00%
Sao Tome and Principe35.00%
Saudi Arabia99.25%
Senegal53.39%
Serbia95.93%
Seychelles88.89%
Sierra Leone56.46%
Singapore94.65%
Slovakia0.00%
Slovenia0.00%
Solomon Islands0.00%
Somalia63.77%
South Africa97.98%
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands0.00%
Spain0.00%
Sri Lanka78.20%
St. Helena (British)0.00%
St. Kitts and Nevis78.57%
St. Lucia70.59%
St. Maarten (Dutch Part)0.00%
St. Martin (French Part)0.00%
St. Pierre and Miquelon0.00%
St. Vincent and the Grenadines64.29%
Stateless69.52%
Sudan65.90%
Sudan (South)66.67%
Surinam81.82%
Svalbard and Jan Mayen0.00%
Swaziland94.30%
Sweden0.00%
Switzerland0.00%
Syria73.48%
Taiwan97.94%
Tajikistan88.68%
Tanzania82.98%
Thailand96.06%
Togo69.50%
Tokelau0.00%
Tonga100.00%
Trinidad and Tobago78.69%
Tunisia73.82%
Turkey92.67%
Turkmenistan83.81%
Turks and Caicos Islands (British)0.00%
Tuvalu0.00%
Uganda66.20%
Ukraine89.61%
United Arab Emirates99.41%
United States95.37%
Uruguay86.67%
Uzbekistan79.98%
Vanuatu0.00%
Vatican City0.00%
Venezuela84.93%
Vietnam85.44%
Virgin Islands (British)0.00%
Virgin Islands (US)0.00%
Wallis and Futuna0.00%
Western Sahara0.00%
Yemen52.07%
Zambia85.36%
Zimbabwe68.70%
UK Visa Success Rate 2018Q290.08%
UK Visa Success Rate by Country 2018Q2