How to get a visit visa after being refused
Being refused a visit visa can be very disappointing for the Applicant, Sponsor and, sometimes, the whole family. Often, refusal means missing out on an important family event. It can be particularly demoralising as the refusal generally ends with, “Any future UK visa applications you make will be considered on their individual merits, however you are likely to be refused unless the circumstances of your application change.” [emphasis added]
Unfortunately it does seem to be the case that it is much harder to make a successful application for a visit visa following a refusal or, worse, several refusals, but it is possible.
Fresh applications need to be very carefully prepared, and it may help to ask the following questions.
What were the reasons for your visit visa refusal?
It is essential to address each and every reason for refusal raised in all previous refusals. You need to start by working out what exactly the reason for refusal is. The Reasons for Refusal can be very specific, perhaps pointing to a single unexplained transaction in a bank statement, or similar. This can often lead applicants to try making a further application with just one or two more documents, to address the specific detail raised. Unfortunately, this is often insufficient and can lead to a series of unsuccessful applications, each with a few extra items of evidence.
In addition to addressing the very specific issues raised in previous refusals, it may be helpful to consider what the main or headline reason for refusal is. If, for example, the Applicant’s finances are the reason for refusal, it is likely to be necessary to include comprehensive evidence of the Applicant’s financial position (and possibly that of close family members if the Applicant is dependent on or financially assisted by family).
It is important to remember that every reason for refusal will need to be addressed.
Are there any other potential reasons for refusal of your visit visa?
Once you have addressed all the previous reasons for refusal, you need to make sure there are no other possible reasons for which the application could be refused. Each refusal is supposed to include all the reasons for which an application is being refused, but circumstances (or the Rules) may have changed since the last refusal, and a different Entry Clearance Office may think of new reasons for refusal.
The starting point is to make sure each of the requirements of the Rules is addressed and that the evidence you have provided is sufficient. Although Appendix V does not contain “specified evidence” requirements, it is often helpful to consider other parts of the Rules which do, to help you know what sort of evidence to provide.
It is often necessary to provide two or three different types of evidence to prove a single fact. The different sources of evidence should all corroborate each other.
It is also necessary to check what is said in the Home Office “Visit Guidance” as this is what the Entry Clearance Officer will refer to. The Guidance helps to clarify what the Rules require. For example, the Guidance lists a variety of factors which the Entry Clearance Officer will consider when deciding whether an applicant is a “genuine visitor”. A strong application will address all of these factors with appropriate evidence. Some of the factors listed here relate to the Applicant’s personal circumstances (such as their immigration history, and financial circumstances) and some relate to the Applicant’s country of nationality (such as the political and economic situation in that country).
It is also important to note that the Home Office has specific guidance called “Visitor: Supporting Documents Guide”. Ideally your application will contain all the evidence suggested in this guidance for your category of visit.
Is there any aspect of my new evidence which could cause concern?
Once you have gathered together the evidence you intend to submit, you need to consider whether there is anything which requires explanation. You should keep in mind that, while the Entry Clearance Officer has a power to interview any applicant, they will very rarely seek clarification. If the documents are confusing, or contain anything which could potentially reflect badly on the application it is best to address this with an explanation and, if possible, further evidence.
Have I explained everything as clearly as possible?
It is often necessary to explain the evidence you have provided. This is not only to address any evidence which may cause concern, but also to help the Entry Clearance Officer navigate your application and understand how the evidence you have provided helps to prove your case. It is important to keep in mind that the Entry Clearance Officer will have no knowledge at all about your case except what you tell them.
The evidence can be explained in witness statements and also in detailed legal submissions. Both may be necessary to make a compelling application.
What will I do if I get a further visit visa refusal?
Throughout the process of preparing your application, you should keep in mind that you are very unlikely to have a right of appeal if your application is refused. If you need to challenge a refusal therefore, it is likely you will have to do so by judicial review.
In a judicial review it is not generally possible to add new evidence or explanations. It is therefore important that all relevant evidence is included with the application.
It is likely that in order to succeed in a judicial review, you will have to show that the decision of the Entry Clearance Officer is irrational. This is a very high standard. It is not enough for the judge to think that, on balance, the Entry Clearance Officer should have come to a different conclusion. It is therefore very important to demonstrate in your application that there are no rational reasons for refusal because every requirement of the Rules is met.
Contact our Immigration Lawyers in London
For expert advice and assistance preparing a fresh visit visa application following a previous refusal, contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.