Your Visa has been refused, what now?
It is essential that every visa application is planned and checked thoroughly by a person with the necessary expertise and experience in the field of immigration, as a seemingly irrelevant or incorrect detail or omission on a visa application can lead to a visa being turned down. Visa applicants should therefore take the utmost care to ensure they are making use of reputable immigration firms or consultants, in order to prevent the frustration of a visa being turned down, not to mention the time and expense involved in re-applying or filing an appeal.
In the case that your initial application is refused, although there are risks and costs involved, in most cases an appeal or review of the decision is possible and in many cases a successful result can be obtained.
If you have recently had your visa application denied or turned down it is possible to lodge an appeal if you have been;
- Refused a visa to come to the UK
- Refused entry to the United Kingdom
- Refused an extension of stay
- Received a notice of deportation or
- Received a notice of removal.
What to do first
You will need to contact one of our OISC consultants as soon as possible as there are time constraints on visa appeals processes. You will then be further advised on the appeals procedure as well as the various grounds of appeal and which best suit your particular situation.
Once you have been refused leave to enter or remain in the UK the decision-maker (whether an entry clearance officer, immigration officer or the Secretary of State) will give you a written Notice. This will include a statement of the reasons for the decision. If you are to be removed from the UK the Notice will also states the country to which you are to be removed and should be r include the following:
- A statement advising you of your rights to appeal and the Statutory Provision upon which this right is based
- The time limit for bringing your appeal
- The address to which the appeal needs to be sent
- A fax number for service by fax
- Whether there is an exception or limitation to your right of appeal
- Whether further information is required under s. 120.
We will be able to advise you on whether any of the above affects you. You will also need to decide whether you wish your appeal to be decided at an oral or written hearing – we will advise as to the best option for your case at this time. Once we have assisted you in completing your appeal forms they will be sent either to the Immigration and Asylum Chamber (AIC) or in some cases if you are outside the UK to the British High Commission or Embassy in your country of application. The AIC is an independent tribunal and therefore it is not affiliated with the Home Office in any way.
If you are within the UK your appeal should be filed with the AIC within 5 working days of receiving the Notice of Decision if you are in detention and within 10 working days if you are not. If you are outside of the UK your appeal must be received by the AIC or British High Commission or Embassy within 28 days (including holidays and non-business days) from when you received the Notice of Decision. Due to these time constraints it is strongly advised that you contact one of our experts as soon as possible due to their experience in dealing with these deadlines.
Your Notice of Appeal is lodged. What happens now?
Once we have filed your appeal forms and supporting documents the Entry Clearance Officer who decided your case will review the original decision. If the review maintains the original decision, for non-settlement cases, the Entry Clearance Officer will prepare a bundle of documents for use at the appeal hearing. This is known as the Respondent's Bundle and should contain copies of all the documents lodged in support of the initial application including the application form, the refusal decision and the Notice of Appeal. It is important to note that out of country appeals can take time to reach the Courts in the UK. Currently it can be approximately 6 months from the date when the appeal is lodged to the appeal hearing date. For in-country appeals the appeal hearing is usually between 6 to 8 weeks from the date the appeal is lodged. .
Will I need to go to court?
Should you opt for an oral hearing you will receive a copy of the Appeal Bundle of the Entry Clearance Office or AIC documentation in advance of the hearing date. BIC will prepare all the necessary documentation for your hearing even if you are not within the UK during this period. We will attend the hearing on your behalf ensuring the best representation for you and continuing the appeal process despite your absence.
If you are within the UK you will need to attend the hearing as a main witness. Should you have a sponsor they may also attend the hearing as a witness. If you are attending the hearing do allow for the whole day as appeals are not heard in a specific order.
What happens after the appeal that has come and gone?
On occasion the Immigration Judge may give his decision at the end of the hearing but usually decisions are reserved and can take two to three weeks to be received in writing. All appeal decisions are given in writing and are effective from date of written determination. Where there has been no oral hearing the Judge's determination will also be received in writing.
In the event that your appeal is not successful we are also able to assist you with a further review of the decision. Do bear in mind that in the event that your appeal was allowed the Home Office also has the right of appeal. Should they choose to exercise this right BIC will be able to further advise you on the best course of action in your particular situation.