UK Visa Appeal and Visa Review

Visa Appeals

How does one apply for a UK Visa Appeal or Visa Review?

To avoid a UK visa appeal, a person with the necessary expertise and experience should check every visa application. Seemingly irrelevant or incorrect detail or omissions on a visa application can lead to a visa being turned down.

Visa applicants should, therefore, take the utmost care to ensure they are making use of reputable immigration firms or consultants. This will prevent the frustration of a visa refusal. Not to mention the time and expense involved in re-applying or filing a visa appeal.

If your initial application is refused, although there are risks and costs involved, in most cases visa appeals or reviews of the decision is possible. In many cases, we can obtain a successful result for you!

If your visa was recently denied or turned down it is possible to lodge a UK visa appeal if you have been;

  • Refused a visa to come to the UK;
  • Entry to the United Kingdom refused;
  • Refused an extension of stay;
  • Received a notice of deportation; Or
  • Received a notice of removal.

It is currently possible to lodge visa appeals ONLY against the following decisions:

  • A decision to refuse a human rights claim for entry clearance;
  • A human rights or protection refusal;
  • A decision by the Home Office to deport you as a European Economic Area (EEA) National;
  • An application for an EEA family permit as a family member of an EEA national; or
  • Certain decisions about applications submitted before 6 April 2015.

What to do first if you want to lodge a UK visa appeal

You will need to contact one of our OISC consultants as soon as possible. Please note that there are time constraints on the visa appeals processes. We will then further advise on the appeals procedure as well as the grounds of the visa appeals processes. Breytenbachs will also advise on what route best suit your particular situation.

Once you have been refused leave to enter or remain in the UK the decision-maker (whether an entry clearance officer, immigration officer or the Secretary of State) will give you a written Notice. This will include a statement of the reasons for the decision.

If you are to be removed from the UK the Notice will also contain the following information:

  • Whether or not you have been granted a right of appeal.
  • The Statutory Provision upon which this right of appeal is based on;
  • Whether you can exercise your appeal from within the UK or not;
  • The time limit for bringing your appeal;
  • The address to which the appeal needs to be sent;
  • A fax number for service by fax;
  • Whether there is an exception or limitation to your right of appeal or;
  • Whether further information is required under s. 120.

We will be able to advise you on whether any of the above affects you. You will also need to decide whether you wish your appeal to be decided at an oral or written hearing. We will advise as to the best option for your case at this time. Once we have assisted you in completing your appeal forms, they will be sent either to the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber. The FTT (IAC) is an independent tribunal, and therefore it is not affiliated with the Home Office in any way.

If you are in the UK, your appeal should be filed with the FTT within 14 working days from the date of the Home Office refusal decision. If outside of the UK, your appeal must be received by the FTT within 28 days (including holidays and non-business days) from when you received the Notice of Decision. Should you be detained, you should lodge your appeal within 5 working days (or sooner if your case has been fast-tracked).

Due to these time constraints, we strongly advise that you contact one of our experts as soon as possible. Breytenbachs have extensive experience in dealing with these deadlines.

What happens after your notice of the UK visa appeal is lodged?

Once we have filed your appeal forms, the FTT (IAC) will send you a notice of pending appeal. This notice will formally acknowledge receipt of your appeal. It will also request the Home Office to forward all records relating to your case. This is the Respondent’s Bundle. This bundle should contain copies of all the documents lodged in support of your initial application. It will also include the application form, the refusal decision and the Notice of Appeal. The FTT (IAC) will then allocate a date for your hearing. You can then submit any documents in support of your appeal within a given deadline. In any events no later than 5 days before the hearing date.

Please note that currently it currently takes between 8 and 18 months for an appeal.

Will I need to go to court for my UK visa appeal?

Should you opt for an oral hearing, you will receive a copy of the Appeal Bundle from the Entry Clearance Officer. You will receive this in advance of the hearing date. Breytenbachs will prepare the necessary documentation for your hearing even if you are not in the UK during this period. We will attend the hearing on your behalf. This will ensure the best representation for you and continuing the appeal process despite your absence.

If you are in the UK, you will need to attend the hearing as the main witness. Should you have a sponsor, they may also attend the hearing as a witness. If you are attending the hearing, do allow for the whole day. There is not a specific order in which appeals are heard. If you, your sponsor or any other witness who may wish to give evidence at your hearing are not fluent in English, the Tribunal will arrange for an interpreter. This service is free of charge, but must be requested when the appeal is first lodges.

What happens after the appeal that has come and gone?

On occasion, the Immigration Judge may give his decision at the end of the hearing. Usually, they reserve decisions. It can take between two weeks and three months (or more) before you receive them in writing. All appeal decisions are in writing. They are effective from the date of the written determination. Where there has been no oral hearing, the Judge’s determination will also be received in writing.

In the event that your appeal is not successful, we are also able to assist you with a further review of the decision. Do bear in mind that in the event that they allow your appeal, the Home Office also has the right of appeal. Should they choose to exercise, this right we will be able to further advise you on the best course of action in your particular situation.

Appealing to the Upper Tribunal

You can appeal the decision of the First-Tier Tribunal to the Upper Tribunal. However, the appeal can only be on points of law. There is no fee to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. However, an appeal against the decision of the First-Tier Tribunal (IAC) can be challenged only if you (or your representative) can argue that the Immigration Judge who made the decision did not apply or interpret the law correctly. Or did not follow the correct procedure, or if the evidence at the hearing did not support the decision.

You must ask permission to appeal the decision of the First-Tier Tribunal (IAC) from the First-Tier Tribunal. Alternatively, to the Upper Tribunal within a certain period of time of getting your decision.

How Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants can help you

Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants have a dedicated UK Visa Appeal and Review Department. The consultants in this department have exceptional qualifications and many years of experience dealing with appeals and reviews. Our Level 3 OISC registration will give you the peace of mind that highly trained professionals are dealing with your case. If you need more advice on how one qualifies for visa appeals or visa reviews or would like to proceed, please contact us.