10 Most Common UK Visa Rejection Reasons – 2021

The 10 Most Common UK Visa Rejection Reasons in 2023

On May 20, 2021 | In General | By A Y & J Solicitors

When visa applications go smoothly, you’d be mistaken for thinking that the visa application process is easy and simple. This is rarely the case. There is a lot going on behind the scenes of your visa application to ensure that only authentic applications are successful.

Every year, thousands of applications are refused, and this is not always because the applicant is trying to deceive UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Many genuine applicants are refused simply because of mistakes in their documents or the application process.

To give you an idea of the scale of this issue, in 2019, the UK visa refusal rate went up by 13%. Of those refusals, the highest refusal rates were seen in applicants from Bangladesh, Ghana and Algeria. These nations faced visa refusal rates as high as 40%.

If your visa is refused, you may need to correct mistakes in your application and then reapply. However, there are instances when innocent mistakes in your application could lead to a 10-year ban on reapplying.

In this blog, we’ll explore some of the most common UK visa refusal reasons in 2023. Hopefully, with this knowledge on your side, you can avoid making similar mistakes in your application. This should help you to prepare a clear, concise and compelling application that has a higher chance of success.

Most Common UK Visa Refusals Reasons 2023:

  • Incomplete application form
  • Mistakes in the application form
  • Irregular fund transfers
  • Unclear visa category
  • Criminal record found against the applicant
  • Inadequate funds to sustain your visit
  • Unclear and disorganised documents
  • Failing to provide evidence of a genuine relationship 
  • Missing documents or incomplete paperwork
  • Lack of expert guidance

1. Incomplete application form

One of the main reasons that UK visa applications are refused is simply because the application form is incomplete. UKVI will not chase you or follow up to get the information they need. 

If your application is incomplete, you can expect it to be automatically refused. If this happens, you will need to apply again and be careful to include all relevant information in your next application.

2. Mistakes in the application form

Mistakes such as spelling errors or inaccurate information could lead to your application being refused. If UKVI believes that the mistake is actually an attempt to deceive, you could face a 10-year ban on re-applying.

When preparing your application, it’s important to be careful and concise in your approach. A casual approach to preparing your application could be an expensive mistake, as you will have to submit your application – and pay the required fee – again.

3. Irregular fund transfers

You will need to show that you have the funds to support yourself for the duration of your visit. This is usually achieved by sharing your bank statements with evidence of available funds. If there are irregularities in the fund transfers, this can raise suspicions.

How you acquired the money is almost as important as having enough money for your stay. So, if you have made a bulk transfer from your savings, make sure you make it clear this is where your funds came from to avoid raising concerns from the UKVI caseworker.

4. Unclear visa category

Whether you are applying as a student, spouse, or business partner, the visa category must not be overlooked, as it reveals the most important part of your visa application. 

  • The inability to state the correct visa category could lead you to trouble and eventually visa refusal. 
  • Before you start the visa application process, look carefully at the visa guidelines available and make sure you select the right visa for your needs.
  • Having no fixed plan or an unclear reason for visiting is another reason your application might be refused. For example, if you are applying for a UK Business Visitor Visa but state that you’ll be staying for longer than 6 months, you will automatically be refused. In this instance, you might need to apply for a Work Visa.

5. Criminal record found against the applicant

It’s very common for applicants to fail to mention things like driving violations when asked about previous criminal convictions. This is a simple oversight, as you might assume that mentioning this on your application could harm your chances of success.

However, if you fail to include details of your criminal record and this information is uncovered by UKVI during your visa application checks, this can be interpreted as an attempt to deceive. Even if you don’t think it’s relevant, make sure you follow the guidance and include any information that is requested for your visa category.

6. Inadequate funds to sustain your visit

The cost of living in the UK is quite high compared to some places in the world, so you need to show that you have the funds to support yourself (and your family if they are joining you) for the duration of your visit.

This can seem very unfair, as the amount required might be higher than you anticipate spending, but this is a key requirement of the UK visa application process. This is to ensure that you don’t have to rely on UK public funds during your visit.

You’ll need to show evidence that you have the funds to support yourself and your family for the length of your stay. These funds need to be genuine and you should avoid bulk money deposits, as this could look like a temporary loan to help you secure your visa. 

7. Unclear and disorganised documents

The documents you provide are essential to the success of your visa application. These are often required as evidence of things like your identity, your financial stability and your plans while you are in the UK. 

If your documents are unorganised or not clearly marked, they will be ignored by UKVI. The visa approval process is very intensive, so don’t make the person making a decision about your future have to work hard to understand your documents. 

Your visa category guidance will tell you how to provide your documents, including the order and format. If in doubt, providing more information about the documents is better than not providing enough information. 

8. Failing to provide evidence of a genuine relationship

If you are applying for a visa based on your relationship with an individual with UK-settled status, the key to success will be providing sufficient evidence. It can feel strange trying to document your relationship and prove that it is genuine, but this is an important part of the application process.

You’ll need to provide things like your marriage certificate, evidence that you have shared an address or evidence that you have shared assets. If you’re not sure what counts as evidence of a genuine relationship, reach out to our team for advice and support.

9. Missing documents or incomplete paperwork

Before you submit your application, you should double-check and then triple-check that you have provided everything you need. Forgetting to include vital documents can lead to your application being refused.

As we have mentioned above, you should try to make the decision process as easy as possible by including all the required information. You also need to make sure any scanned or photocopied documents are legible. If they are not in English or Welsh, they will also need to be professionally translated.

If you are struggling with any aspect of your application, we recommend you reach out for advice and support. Seeking support before you submit your application can save you time and money by avoiding the need to apply a second time.

10. Lack of expert guidance

You can certainly manage the visa application process alone, but if English is not your first language, you might struggle to understand the guidance offered by UKVI. Even those with an excellent grasp of the English language can struggle to understand the requirements.

To help ensure your application is comprehensive and supported by the correct documentation, we recommend seeking expert advice. Expert representation can help to streamline the application process and increase your chances of success.

Further information: 5 more reasons your application could be refused

In this video guide, we explore five common reasons that UK visas are refused. We also share our tips for reducing the risk of this happening.

Closing thoughts

The guidelines for UKVI caseworkers to approve or refuse visa applications are stringent and meticulous. When you consider that it could take up to 12 months to receive a decision on the outcome, it makes sense that applicants would want to get it right the first time.

Waiting for 8 weeks to learn the outcome of your Skilled Worker Visa, only to discover that it has been refused due to avoidable mistakes on your application could be devastating to your life and future plans.

While you can apply again once you have learned the outcome, in rare cases, you could be presented with a 10-year ban on further applications. To avoid this, we recommend taking care during the application process.

It’s essential that applicants avoid these common visa mistakes, and we can help you to achieve this. Get in touch with our team today to learn how we can guide your application process to increase your chances of success.

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