Home Office makes changes to family visitor appeals

Appeal, family, court, visitor 30 April 2013

The Home Office has recently announced that it will be removing the full right of appeal for those applicants who have been refused leave to enter the UK as a family visitor. Instead, refused applicants will simply be able to re-apply for leave to enter.

This change is being made following a consultation process conducted in 2011. On 25 April 2013, Royal Assent was given to a clause in the Crime and Courts Bill (originally published on 10 May 2012) that will bring this change into operation.

Removing the right of appeal for this visa type will bring it in line with other visa categories. A re-application rather than an appeal will allow the refused applicant to address the specific reasons for their refusal as part of their re-application. Often, family visitor applications are refused simply due to a lack of appropriate evidence.

It is hoped that this will be a quicker process than an appeal: 95% of applications in 2011 were decided within 15 days, whereas appeals can take up to eight months to receive a decision. A re-application will also be less expensive for such applicants and for the Home Office itself.

It is expected that this change will come into force on or soon after 25 June 2013. It will apply to anyone who wishes to enter the UK under a family visitor visa on or after this date.

If you would like to apply for a family visitor visa either before or after these changes come into effect, or if you have been refused a family visitor visa, please contact us today for information on how we can help.

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