If you have received a visa application refusal from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), you may be able to request an administrative review, a judicial review, or an appeal, to challenge the decision. Receiving a visa refusal can be highly distressing and worrying, especially because this can impact your plans to live, work, study, start a business, or join your family in the UK. Thankfully, based on our experience, even if you feel helpless following a visa application refusal, the chances are that you have several options available to achieve a successful outcome, including some you may never have considered. In this article, we will outline some of the options available if your visa has been refused.
What Are My Options If My UK Visa Is Refused?
Your UKVI visa decision letter will explain some of the options available to you if you wish to challenge the refusal of your application. Depending on your circumstances, to overcome a visa refusal, you may be able to:
- Apply for an administrative review
- Apply for a judicial review
- Re-apply, or
- Apply for a different type of visa.
1) Administrative Review
If you believe that a mistake was made by UKVI when deciding on your visa application, you can request an administrative review. During an administrative review, UKVI will appoint a different case officer to look at your case in light of the information that you provide. Not everyone can request an administrative review; this option is generally available to points-based system (PBS) visa applicants (i.e. student visas, work visas, business visas) in addition to those applying for Ancestry visas and under the EU Settlement Scheme.
To apply for an administrative review, you must do so within 14 days if you are in the UK or within 28 days if outside the UK. The application process is completed online and costs £80. As part of this process, you will need to explain why you believe a mistake has been made and provide any evidence to support this. Administrative reviews can take up to 6 months to complete; however, you can remain in the UK while waiting for a decision if you made a valid in-time visa application.
The right to appeal a visa refusal is typically only reserved where a decision has been made to refuse a protection claim, refuse a human rights claim, or cancel protection status. Again, your UKVI decision letter will tell you whether you have the right to appeal. You can only appeal if you have the right to do so. As with administrative review, you must submit your appeal application within 14 days if you are in the UK or within 28 days if outside the UK. You will have the option to have your appeal considered by a judge based on the information you provide or at an oral hearing.
The appeal process can take between 6 and 12 months; however, you can normally remain in the UK while waiting for an outcome of your matter.
3) Judicial Review
A judicial review is a legal challenge considered by the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber (UTIAC) on the basis that your visa application decision was unlawful, illegal, irrational or unreasonable. Successful judicial reviews do not change the decision, but they may force UKVI to reconsider its approach. Judicial reviews can be complex and time-consuming and should only be considered in rare circumstances.
Judicial review applications must be received by the tribunal no later than 3 months after the date of the decision being challenged. An initial judicial review application fee of £154 is payable, and if a final hearing is granted, a further fee of £770 is charged. In some circumstances, it may also be possible to request an urgent decision.
Due to the complexity and sheer volume of paperwork involved in the judicial review process, to have the best chance of a positive outcome, it is important to engage the services of an immigration Solicitor who can handle the process on your behalf.
The administrative review, appeal, and judicial review are the main ways of challenging a visa refusal. However, based on the reasons for your refusal, your exact circumstances, and your chances of success, an immigration Solicitor may simply recommend preparing a new visa application, either for the same visa or a different type.
Garth Coates is a leading niche immigration firm based in the heart of London, specialising in all forms of personal and business immigration, including visas, global mobility, sponsorship and compliance, settlement, and citizenship. To discuss how best to challenge a visa refusal based on your circumstances, please contact one of our friendly and approachable immigration Solicitors on Tel: +44 (0)20 7799 1600 or by completing our online contact form.