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Most common reasons for UK Visa Refusal

Our clients often approach us with concerns about getting their visa refused. A visa refusal is the rejection of an application by the UK Immigrations authorities, which could be due to several reasons. In most cases, a visa refusal may be down to simple mistakes which could have been avoided by obtaining credible legal advice at the application stage.

The most common factors that would result in a visa refusal may include providing false information, deception or not complying with visa regulations. Due to strict guidelines for most visa routes, it is imperative that all rules are adhered to and sufficient evidence is compiled to complement your application.

Why has my visa been refused?

In this article, we'll take a look at some of the main reasons the UK Home Office may refuse a visa.

Providing false information

Applicants may be tempted to provide false information and assume that it will have no bearing on the outcome of the visa decision. However, in the case that false information is found within your application, the applicant may be banned from entering the UK for up to 10 years. It is crucial that you are completely honest throughout the process so that your case handlers and solicitors can provide the most accurate legal advice. In most cases, it is more advantageous to be up front and honest in explaining your circumstances, rather than trying to hide key facts or provide false information.

Other examples of providing false information include:

  • Deception or submitting false documentation

  • Deliberately withholding documentation of a criminal record

  • The applicant has not divulged materials facts pertaining to the visa application process

Applied for inappropriate visa route

For many of our clients who have approached us to appeal their visa decision, it is found that they have applied for the incorrect visa route. This means that the purpose of their visit was not covered under the visa they applied for. The UK Immigration system has various visa routes which have differing eligibility requirements and permissions. For example, individuals who are granted a student visa are only permitted to work in certain circumstances. However, if you enter the UK on a spouse visa, you are permitted to work or study in the UK.

It is important to ensure that you are applying for the correct visa route based on your circumstances and requirements. Speak to your legal advisor to ensure that all your requirements are covered by your visa route before you apply.

Criminal records or deportation

Having a criminal record may impact your visa decision, especially if you attempt to deliberately conceal it. If the applicant has been convicted of a crime that warrants an imprisonment term of four years of more, you may not be eligible for a UK visa. However, not all criminal records will result in a visa refusal. It is important to be honest with your legal counsel so that you can receive accurate advice and get the best outcome for your case.

Furthermore, if the applicant is a recipient of a deportation order, your visa may also be refused. Trying to conceal or misinform the Home Office of these facts may result in a 10 year ban, preventing you from re-applying for a visa to enter the UK.

Not complying with visa regulations

One of the main requirements of the visa application process includes submitting to a biometric scan, photographic ID or providing a medical report. This is to confirm the applicant's identity and fulfil security protocols. Refusing to comply with these appointments or regulations will result in a visa refusal. Furthermore, if the applicant does not have a valid passport or travel document this may also result in your visa being refused.

Other reasons for visa refusal

There are various reasons why the Home Office may refuse a visa. These may also include any of the following (this list is not exhaustive):

  • The applicant does not have sufficient funds for a trip to the UK;

  • The applicant did not meet the financial requirements of the visa route;

  • The applicant overstayed on a previous trip to the UK;

  • There is sufficient reason to believe that the applicant may not exit the UK on the expiration of their visa;

  • The applicant is currently banned from re-applying for a UK visa;

  • Insufficient evidence was submitted as part of the visa application;

  • Contradicting evidence was submitted as part of the visa application;

  • The applicant is not eligible for the visa route.

How can I appeal my visa decision?

If your visa application has been rejected, you will be notified about it in writing along with

the reason for the refusal. A visa can be refused under the UK’s immigration management system. Applicant’s whose visas have been refused under this system can appeal for an administrative review only.

The visa rejection letter will specify if the applicant is permitted to appeal the decision. If it is specified, then you are permitted to appeal. If it is not specified then you won’t be able to make an appeal and you will have to submit a new visa application

The UK Immigration Office can choose to reject an applicant’s visa if it finds there is no reason for the applicant to visit the UK based on the information submitted in the visa application form.

How to re-apply for a UK visa after refusal

Once the visa application has been rejected, the claimant can choose to re-apply for a new visa. A new application can be filed as soon as the first visa application was rejected, or on completion of the appeal process. When re-applying for UK visa, care should be taken to ensure the form is filled in correctly and all relevant information has been provided, to avoid the visa application being rejected again.

The visa appeal process takes around 12 weeks, beginning from the submission of the appeal application to the hearing and decision by the judge.

Once the visa application has been rejected, the applicant can appeal the decision by the following the below steps:

Fill in Form IAFT-2, which is the form for appeal against a Home Office decision regarding refusal of visa.

  1. Submit the form, signed and along with supporting documents to the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

  2. The Chamber will send a receipt on receiving the documents, after which the documents will be forwarded to the relevant authorities, where the case will be reviewed.

  3. The original decision will either be overturned or upheld, and the decision will be communicated to the applicant in writing.

  4. A hearing will be arranged, and the applicant will be sent details of the hearing, where an immigration judge will review app documents pertaining o the case and decide within 10 days from the date of the hearing.

  5. If the hearing is in the applicants favour, the visa office will get in touch with the applicant and complete the visa application process

  6. If the visa rejection is upheld, the claimant can attempt to file a brand-new application.

Legal Support for Immigration Visa Appeals

MSD Solicitors are experts in immigration law and visa applications. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers can help you submit your visa or immigration appeal. We also correspond with the relevant legal bodies and provide clarity on Home Office guidance, processes and eligibility criteria. Our dedicated team can help you speed up your visa appeal by ensuring that all documents and supportive evidence are correctly organised. Get in touch today for a free consultation to discuss your case requirements.


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