Refusals and Appeals
We can help you to understand your refusal decision
It can be disheartening if your visa application has been refused. There are many reasons as to why an application can be refused. You should receive a Notice of Decision letter which details why the Home Office refused your application.
If you have recently received your refusal letter, get in touch with us as soon as you can, because there is a time limit for making an appeal.
In most cases, you may be able to appeal the Home Office's decision, but in some cases you cannot - meaning you would have to start a fresh application.
Why was my visa application refused?
There can be several reasons why the Home Office refused your application for e.g correct documents have not been supplied with your application or that other specified evidence is missing. You may also have failed to fully meet the Immigration or EU rules for the application you have made. Your refusal letter will detail why the application was refused.
Visa Refusals and Appeals
We specialise in appeal cases, often complex and non-routine. We have the experience and expertise that is required to handle appeals of all types.
Refusal of a visa or Entry Clearance is always disappointing. However we often find that the reasons for refusal provided by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) contain profound material errors of law.
Our knowledge and detailed preparation ensures that such errors are exposed and that the decision is overturned.
You may be able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) if the Home Office has:
refused your visa application for the UK for e.g. spouse visa, fiancee visa, unmarried partner visa
refused your protection claim (also known as ‘asylum claim’ or ‘humanitarian protection’)
refused your human rights claim
made a decision under the European Economic Area (EEA) Regulations, for example the Home Office has decided to deport you or refused to issue you a residence document
decided to revoke your protection status
decided to take away your British citizenship
The Immigration & Asylum Chamber is independent of government. A judge will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision.
Appeal from in the UK
You can only appeal to the Tribunal if you have the legal right to appeal - you will usually be told if you have this right in your decision letter. Your decision letter will also tell you if you can apply for an administrative review if you don’t have the right to appeal. If you are unsure, we can take a look at your decision letter and advise you.
How to Appeal (in the UK)
You have 14 days to appeal from the date of your decision.
If you appeal after the deadline, you must explain why - the Tribunal will decide if it can still hear your appeal.
Depending on what you are appealing, there are certain forms to complete and send. We will complete and lodge the appropriate form for you. Some forms are online, others we would have to send by post.
How to Appeal (outside the UK)
In some cases, you may have to leave the UK to appeal because your visa has expired.
If you are outside the UK you have 28 days to appeal from the date of refusal. If you have to leave the country before you’re allowed to appeal, you have 28 days to appeal once you’ve left the country.
If you apply after the deadline, you must explain why - the Tribunal will decide if it can still hear your appeal.
Depending on what you are appealing, there are certain forms to complete and send. We will complete and lodge the relevant forms for you. If you are outside the UK during this process, we can correspond with you by email.
If it is the case that you want, or need to have an oral hearing whilst you are outside the UK, we can represent you at the hearing in the UK.
Oral and Paper Hearings
You can ask on your appeal form for a paper hearing or an oral hearing:
Paper hearing - just on the information in your appeal form and any documents supplied to the tribunal
Oral hearing - at a tribunal hearing that we will attend on your behalf
The tribunal can decide to have a hearing even if you don’t ask for one. You’ll be told if this is the case and invited to attend.
If the tribunal doesn’t hold a hearing, a judge will decide your case based on your appeal form and the documents.
Hearings are carried out in public. You can ask for it to be held in private or to attend by video link, but you must have a reason, for example a public hearing would put you in danger.
You can ask for a male or female judge if you think there are issues in your appeal that make it appropriate. The tribunal will decide if it can do this.
£80 for a paper hearing
£140 for an oral hearing
*please be aware that these costs above are to be paid to the Tribunal, and are separate from AM Law Solicitor's fees.
If there is a Hearing
You’ll get a Notice of Hearing with details of where to go for your hearing. We as your repsenetative will also receive the Notice of Hearing.
You may have to give evidence at the hearing and answer questions.
You may need to take part in a ‘pre-hearing’, where the tribunal will check that you’re ready for a full hearing.
The hearing will be attended by:
a judge or judges, sometimes with other tribunal members
any witnesses called to give evidence
an interpreter, if you’ve asked for one
It will also be attended by:
a Home Office ‘presenting officer’
your sponsor, if you have one
If your appeal isn’t held on its scheduled day for any reason (for example there isn’t a judge available) it’ll be rescheduled for another day.
Your hearing may also be adjourned as ‘part heard’ if there isn’t enough time to finish it, or it can’t be resolved on the day. The tribunal will arrange another hearing for another day with the same people present.
Your appeal decision
A decision will be sent to you and your representative by post a few weeks after the appeal hearing. This is known as the Determination.
The tribunal may ask the Home Office to reconsider the refused application based on the grounds you have explained to the tribunal.
The tribunal will either decide to:
allow your appeal
dismiss your appeal and uphold the Home Office’s original decision
You’ll usually get a copy of the tribunal’s decision within 4 weeks of the hearing.
If you win your appeal
The Home Office will change (‘revise’) its decision if you win your appeal. The Home Office may reconsider your entire application if your circumstances have changed since you first made your appeal.
The judge may order the Home Office to pay you a ‘fee award’ if you win your appeal, up to the amount you paid for your tribunal fee.
If you lose your appeal
If your appeal is dismissed you can ask for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) if you think there are errors of law within the tribunal’s decision.
For example, you think the tribunal:
got the law wrong
didn’t apply the correct law
didn’t follow the correct procedures, which affected the decision
had no evidence to support its decision