Judicial Review for UK Visitor Visa

Visitor Visa to UK Refused? Challenge Decision Through Judicial Review

Jun 07, 2018
Last Updated on May 22, 2024

Visitor Visa to the UK is rejected with unreasonable reasons? It is hard not to take it personally. There are no Administrative Review or Appeal rights available, one action you can take is to apply for a Judicial Review. However, this can happen to anyone – even those involved in high-profile events. It was reported in April 2018 that the cousin of Yulia Skipral had been denied a UK visa to visit her in hospital. Yulia and her father, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, were poisoned by a Russian-developed Novichok agent nerve agent, causing intense diplomatic tensions between the UK and Moscow. The Home Office stated, “We have refused a visitor visa application from Viktoria Skripalon the grounds that her application did not comply with the immigration rules”.

Unfortunately, due to the UK government’s strong policy of reducing immigration figures, the number of UK Standard Visitor Visa applications whether it is family or business visitor being denied is steadily increasing. In 2016, almost 300,000 UK Visitor visas were refused by UK Visas and Immigration. The high level of refusals can result in families being separated, sometimes for years at a time.

Last year, the Guardian newspaper reported the case of an 83-year-old widow who worked for the NHS for 30 years before retiring to Jamaica. She has children and grandchildren in the UK, all of whom hold British passports. She made a trip once a year to visit them; however, in 2014, she was refused entry on a visit visa and has been unable to come to the UK ever since.

“I’m 83, and no one knows how long we have to live. I want to visit my sister’s grave in Nottingham. I want to see members of my family who are sick. I have great-grandchildren who don’t know me. We are a very, very close family and I’m scared I’ll never see them all together again,” she said. “I don’t understand it: I lived and worked in Great Britain nearly all my life. I looked after the country’s children.”

What Can I do if my Visitor Visa is Refused?

Unfortunately, if your UK Standard Visitor Visa is refused, you will be unable to apply for an Administrative Review and you will only be able to appeal if you can show that in refusing you entry-clearance, UKVI is breaching your human rights. The only other alternative is to apply for a Judicial Review.

One of the reasons it is imperative to work with an immigration lawyer when making a UK Visitor Visa application is they can check if you may have human rights grounds on which an appeal can be mounted if your visa is refused.

If there are no human rights grounds on which to appeal, you can apply for Judicial Review. Before doing so, there are a few important points to note:

  • A Judicial Review is concerned with the legality of a decision, not whether the decision was necessarily the right or wrong one. In a Judicial Review for a UK Standard Visitor Visa refusal, the judge will consider whether the decision-maker acted legally, reasonably, and proportionally, rather than examine the merits of the decision.
  • Judicial Review must be applied for, and the court will decide whether the case can proceed.
  • As Judicial Review is a remedy of last resort, all other possible dispute resolution methods and avenues must be explored before an application is made.

Do you have a way to calculate the Visitor Visa UK cost?

Yes! Use our calculator below to calculate your Visitor Visa Visa cost.

Please answer the questions and you will be able to calculate the approx. cost for The Visitor Visa –

Pre-Action Protocol Letter and a UK Standard Visitor Visa Refusal

Prior to applying for Judicial Review, under the Civil Procedure Rules, the claimant must follow a standard Pre-Action Protocol. This will include sending UKVI a Letter Before Claim. This will set out why you, the claimant, believe UKVI was wrong in rejecting your application for a UK Standard Visitor Visa.

In many cases, UKVI will reverse their refusal decision upon receiving the Letter Before Claim. This is another reason why it is crucial to have an expert immigration lawyer advise and represent you from the beginning of your application. Doing so can save you a lot of time, money and distress. We have brought successful results for our clients.

How Can an Immigration Lawyer Help?

If you have been refused a UK Standard Visitor Visa, you may be able to apply for a Judicial Review. For the best chance of success, it is best to instruct an immigration lawyer in London. They will take the time to examine the reasons for your application being refused and provide you with practical advice on the next best steps to take to have the refusal overturned.

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Applying for a Judicial Review following the refusal of a UK Standard Visitor Visa can seem a little overwhelming. However, by engaging an experienced immigration law solicitor, you will receive the best immigration law advice and representation, which can go a long way toward assuring your success.

A Y & J Solicitors are specialists in immigration law based in central London. If you would like to have more information, please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 20 7404 7933.

Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.

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