UK Visit Visa Refusal: How to challenge the decision?

Visitor Visa applications get refused for different reasons. The only remedy available to challenge the decision is through Appeal (only if there is human rights grounds) or Judicial Review. Standard Visitor Visa allows you to enter into the UK for business visits, medical treatment, a holiday, or to visit family and for few other purpose. It is really devastating when visitor visas applications are refused, leading to cancellation of family reunions and business meetings.

If you have had your UK Standard Visitor Visa application refused, you may be able to appeal on human rights grounds or make an application for permission to judicial review. If you are successful in one of these methods, it will lead to grant you a UK Standard Visitor Visa.

Our expert lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the appeals and judicial review process arising out of visit visa refusals. We will guide you on the best course of action, including the Pre-action Protocol for Judicial Review, and quickly advise you if your case provides an opportunity to appeal on human rights grounds.

At A Y & J Solicitors, we will take the time to carefully examine why your visit visa application was refused and advise you on the best course of action to take. We can advise you to re-apply or appeal or pursue a Judicial Review analysing your case and unique circumstances. You can be confident that as an SRA regulated firm, we will act with the utmost integrity and direct you to the cost-effective path explaining the chance of success.

Appeals and judicial review can be a complex process. Fortunately, our years of experience mean our clients can trust that their challenge to the refusal will be correctly submitted, and the process explained to them in a clear, concise manner.

Do you need help with Visit Visa Refusal?

Can I Appeal if My Application for a UK Standard Visitor Visa is Refused?

If your UK Standard Visitor Visa is refused, you only have a right to appeal if your application contains a human rights grounds. We experienced that it is very rare as not all visit visa applications engage human rights. Home Office guidance explains under which circumstances applicant’s human rights claims can be valid. Most commonly, applications for appeals are made under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Article 8 of the ECHR reads:

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

  1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
  2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

This route is not always recommended as after paying the appeal fee and legal fees and waiting for a significant time, the Judge at First-tier Tribunal may decide that the refusal of visit visa did not engage human rights grounds and therefore there is no right of appeal in first place. The client may waste the time, money and energy by appealing the decision. However, when there is appeal rights available based on strong grounds of human rights violation, we will do our best to prepare a strong appeal case for you.

Judicial Review could be a suitable option when there are no appeal rights available or the visit visa application is getting refused twice or more based on same unlawful / unfair reasons.

What is the UK Visit Visa Refusal Judicial Review Process?

Judicial review is the process whereby the judges of the Administrative Division of the High Court, and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) exercise jurisdiction over the lawfulness of acts or omissions of public bodies such as UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), and a supervisory jurisdiction over inferior courts and tribunals.

The grounds for Judicial Review include:

  • illegality, i.e. where there was an error of law in the making of the decision
  • irrationality or unreasonableness
  • procedural impropriety and unfairness
  • the decision was in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998 (usually involving an assessment of proportionality), and
  • the decision breaches EU law

Judicial Review is a remedy of last resort.  Prior to commencing an application, we help you to investigate all other dispute resolution methods.

How to Challenge UK Visit Visa Refusal Through Judicial Review?

After gathering all evidence in support of your case, our experienced legal team will attempt to negotiate with UKVI through a letter containing a detailed legal representation which is legally known as Pre-Action Protocol letter.

This is the first stage of applying for Judicial Review. The Pre-Action Protocol is designed to allow applicants to set out their case to UKVI and reach an out of court settlement, if possible. Following the Pre-Action Protocol, UKVI will send a response to the ‘Letter Before Claim’ we have sent, ideally within 14 days. The possible outcome would be either agree to reconsider the visitor visa application or to maintain the refusal decision and advising to proceed with the Judicial Review.

Our team understands the judicial review process and will swiftly advise if it is the best option for you. We aim that judicial review challenges are resolved at the Pre-Action Protocol stage, saving our clients time, stress and money.

When UKVI upheld the refusal decision or does not respond to Pre-action Protocol, we then can initiate Judicial Review proceeding on behalf of you. Government Legal Department (GLD) will act on behalf of UKVI and submit their response at the Acknowledgement of Service stage. If the decision is maintained, the case will be considered by a judge of the Upper Tribunal.

Time is of the essence in a Judicial Review matter as any challenge must be made as soon as possible and in any event within three months of the refusal decision.

Why Use A Y & J Solicitors to Manage Your Appeal or Judicial Review for Visitor Visa Refusal?

At A Y & J Solicitors, we have over ten years’ experience in assisting applicants for UK Standard Visitor Visa, sometimes in urgent circumstances. We understand the process and have a strong reputation for achieving successful results for business visitors, family visitors and tourists from all over the world.

FAQs

In Kugathas v SSHD, the Court of Appeal held that family life for the purposes of Article 8 will generally involve cohabiting dependants, such as parents and dependent minor children, but that it may encompass other relationships depending on the specific circumstances of the case. For example, in Kaur (visit appeals; Article 8), it was found family life existed between a mother and her adult son and grandchildren.

Unfortunately, no, any attempt to come to the UK without a valid UK Visitor Visa (if you need one) will result in you being turned away at the border. It may also negatively affect your ability to successfully obtain entry into the UK in the future.

Re-applying for the visit visa is the most straightforward solution if there were missing documents in the previous unsuccessful application. However, it is best to challenge the decision if there are grounds because if the challenge is successful, the refusal decision is withdrawn, then the applicant does not need to mention this refusal in future applications.

In most circumstances, a refusal decision is challenged by way of the Pre-Action Protocol of Judicial Review. If the Pre-Action Protocol is successful, the application is reconsidered, and a fresh decision is made.

It depends on a case-by-case basis, especially, based on the grounds and documents available to address the grounds. We have a team of experienced lawyers who has a very high success rate in overturning the visit visa refusals either by a Pre-Action Protocol or by making fresh applications whichever is best for our clients depending on their circumstances.

If negative decision is made it is communicated via email. However, if a positive decision is made, the decision is not communicated via email, rather, an email is sent from the Visa Application Centre (VAC) informing that the application has been processed and the passport is ready for collection.

Success Story on Visit Visa Refusal Appeal or Judicial Review

Pre Action Letter for Visitor Visa refusal main
On March 08, 2018 | In Pre-Action Protocol | By A Y & J Solicitors

Visitor Visa Refused, Pre-Action Protocol Letter Submitted Leads to the Grant of Visa

Mr M, along with his wife and his son applied from India for visitor visas to visit the UK, his brother and family who are all settled here. The family of three also wanted to take this opportunity to explore the places of attraction in the UK and experience the culture of the country where…

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