From Denial to Approval: Mastering the UK Visa Appeal System


Applying for a UK visa makes us feel like our dreams are coming true, and the temptation that waiting for a decision brings can be really nerve-breaking. While some people are lucky enough to get their visa on the first try, some must face a cold shower of being denied and must make new plans for their lives. Luckily, receiving a refusal letter is not the end, and there are still chances of getting a visa through an appealing process, so we will focus on it more and try to help you turn a denial into approval.

Check the refusal letter

The first step that everyone who gets the refusal letter should do is to check it thoroughly and see whether they have a legal right to appeal. In most cases, there is always an option to appeal, as it’s usually about the lack of necessary paperwork or that some additional documents are required from the applicant. That is why it is of vast importance to go thoroughly through the letter and check the reasons why the application was denied in the first place, and if it is just because of some documents, make sure to gather and send it in the mentioned time frame.

It’s important to know that every letter always contains details on why the application is denied and whether the receiver can appeal to the tribunal or ask for a decision review. Sometimes it can be a little confusing for people without legal knowledge, and we recommend asking an immigration adviser or solicitor for advice on a UK visa appeal, as doing it on your own can result in absolute denial.

Time is important


Being denied is not the end of the world, and since there is almost always an option for appeal, the only thing that you should worry about is the time frame in which you can do so. Namely, once your visa is denied, it is important to appeal as soon as possible because doing it after the deadline might result in the tribunal not even hearing the appeal, as it is up to them to decide. Furthermore, it’s also highly advised not to wait until the last possible moment before the deadline to do so, as the goal is for your application to be approved, and if it is just because of some additional document, you can speed up the entire process by sending it as soon as possible.

As for the amount of time, it depends on whether the person who applied for the visa has done it from the UK or from outside of the UK, and people who were in this country have far less time, or to be precise, 14 days, while those from the outside have 28. Because of that, starting the process as soon as possible is important, or you can easily miss your chance if you leave it for later. The reason why those who don’t live in the UK have more time is simple – the time needed to gather all the documents and send an appeal can get much longer, and if one lives in the UK, that procedure is much shorter, so the government believes they don’t need as much time to appeal if there is an actual reason for them to do so.

Waiting time

Unlike the waiting time for the answer to whether the application is denied or approved, the waiting period from the appeal to hearing from the tribunal can be pretty stressful for people, as it can last from six months to one year, which is a pretty long time. That is why it is important to be patient and wait for an answer, as there is no way to speed up the process and hear the decision sooner. Some people think that if they constantly seek additional info, they can speed up the process, but that simply isn’t the case, and even though there are no consequences, you will just stress out even more.

Prepare for an oral hearing


Although there is an option of getting a tribunal decision in paper form, being prepared for an oral hearing is always a good idea, as the tribunal has the right to ask for that. It might seem more stressful at first glance, but it gives you the opportunity to present the case and convince them that you are the right candidate for the visa you applied for. Understandably, your knowledge of the English language must be at least on the basic level, and if that’s the case, you will have the best possible option to defend your case and provide genuine info regarding your application.

On the other hand, if you only have the certificate and you don’t actually possess the language knowledge, this hearing might represent a problem, as even though you can have a consultant, you will have to present all the facts in person. Another thing we need to mention is that these hearings are always carried out in public, except in extraordinary situations when it is extremely dangerous for a person that should be heard, and you can choose whether you want to go on your own or send a legal representative, but in essence, this doesn’t happen that often.


Paying fees

One of the things that can often confuse people is the fee, as there are different types of fees one needs to pay depending on the type of visa they apply for, and additionally, you will also have to pay the fee for the appeal. As for the latter one, the amount of the fee depends on whether you want to have a hearing or get a decision by paper, and it is £140 with a hearing and £80 without it.

You can choose to pay it online or write the credit card information when filling out the appeal form. In some cases, a person is not obliged to pay the fee, so if you do not know whether you need to pay, check with the tribunal.