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Challenge Visitor Visa Refusal


Challenge Visitor Visa Refusal

The visit visa application is the largest category of entry clearance applications made. We, therefore, get various enquiries from people all over the world regarding visitor visa refusal. Most people are unaware of the procedure to challenge a visit visa refusal that they have received.

Challenging a visit visa refusal by way of Judicial Review

A UK visit visa refusal is not an appealable decision. This means that you cannot challenge it by way of an appeal. However, if you have ever been refused an entry clearance as a visitor you have the option of re-applying or submitting an application for judicial review. Re-applying is only suitable if you did not have all of the mandatory evidence required and you now have them ready for submission. However, if you feel that you had all of the correct evidence and do not agree with the reasons for refusal given by the Entry Clearance Office (ECO) i.e. the person who makes the decisions on visit visa applications, you have the option of submitting an application for judicial review to challenge the refusal. The application for judicial review must be submitting within 3 calendar months of the date of the refusal letter.

Things to consider before submitting an application for judicial review

Before considering proceeding for a judicial review you may need to consider various matters including:

  • have the relevant law set out in Appendix V of the Immigration Rules been applied incorrectly in the visitor visa refusal decision?
  • have all material considerations/evidence been considered by the ECO when making the decision?
  • Was there a factual error in the decision?
  • Has the ECO provided sufficient reasons to enable you to effectively challenge the refusal decision or to reapply?

 Procedure for submitting an application for judicial review

Judicial review is considered to be a remedy of last resort and should only be used when it is considered that the ECO has made a substantial legal error in making the decision. You, therefore, need to have good grounds to submit an application for judicial review. You need to be able to show that the ECO’s decision as either unlawful, irrational or procedurally unfair. Proving any one of these grounds could lead to your challenge against the refusal of your visit visa application being successful.

Pre-Action protocol before judicial review

Before an application for judicial review can be submitted to the courts, a pre-action procedure must be followed. This is essentially your first opportunity to put your concerns and challenges to the other side. The pre-action procedure provides an early opportunity for issues to be highlighted, addressed and possibly resolved thereby eliminating the need to go to court.

If you are not provided with your deserved remedy at the pre-action stage, the next step is to submit an application for judicial review.

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