Immigration Corner: Why would I be denied a visa?
Dear Mr Bassie,
Under what circumstances would an application for a visitor's visa be refused?
There are some specific circumstances that will lead to the refusal of an application as it relates to not only a visitor's visa, but also leave to enter and an extension of stay as a visitor.
An application will be refused if the secretary of state has personally directed that the applicant's exclusion from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good; or the applicant is currently the subject of a deportation order or a decision to make a deportation order.
In addition, an application will be refused if the decision-maker believes that exclusion of the applicant from
the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good, because, for example, the applicant's conduct, character, associations, or other reasons, make it undesirable to grant the application.
With respect to an applicant who is deemed not conducive to the public good with respect to criminal convictions, an application, except for an application for an extension of stay as a visitor, will be refused if the applicant has been convicted of a criminal offence for which he/she has been sentenced to a period of imprisonment of at least four years; or between 12 months and four years, unless at least 10 years have passed since the end of the
sentence; or less than 12 months, unless at least five years have passed since the end of the sentence. It should be noted that it will only be in exceptional circumstances that the public interest in maintaining refusal will be outweighed by compelling factors.
reasons for denial
An application will normally be refused if within the period of 12 months before the application is decided, the applicant has been convicted of or admitted an offence for which he/she received a non-custodial sentence or out-of-court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record, except for an application for an extension of stay as a visitor; or in the view of the secretary of state the applicant's offending has caused serious harm; or in the view of the secretary of state the applicant is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.
False information in relation to an application will also not be tolerated and an applicant will be refused where false representations have been made or false documents or information have been submitted, whether or not material to the application, and whether or not to the applicant's knowledge; or material facts have not been disclosed in relation to their application or in order to obtain documents from the secretary of state or a third party
provided in support of their application.
An applicant will be refused entry if there have been breaches of United Kingdom immigration laws. If the applicant previously breached United Kingdom immigration laws, and that person is outside the United Kingdom, the application would need to be made within the relevant re-entry ban time period and the relevant time period would depend on the manner in which the applicant left the United Kingdom.
If the application has previously breached United Kingdom immigration laws but is outside the relevant re-entry ban time period, the application will normally be refused if there are other aggravating circumstances, such as a failure to cooperate with immigration control or enforcement processes. This applies even where the applicant has overstayed for 90 days or less and left voluntarily and not at public expense.
regulations for 18 and overs
An applicant aged 18 years or over will be refused where he has breached the United Kingdom's immigration laws by overstaying, except where this was for 90 days or less and he/she left the United Kingdom voluntarily and not at public expense; or by breaching a condition attached to their leave; or by being an illegal entrant; or if deception was used in relation to an application or documents used in support of an application whether successful or not.
It should be noted that where more than one breach of the immigration laws has occurred, only the breach which leads to the longest period of absence from the United Kingdom will be relevant.
An applicant will be refused where the applicant fails to produce a valid travel document that satisfies the decision maker as to their identity and nationality. Also, if he/she fails without reasonable excuse, to comply with a requirement to attend an interview; or provide information; or provide biometrics; or undergo a medical examination or provide a medical report.
An applicant will normally be refused where, on the advice of the medical inspector, it is undesirable to grant the application for medical reasons. In addition an applicant will normally be refused where a relevant NHS (National Health Service) body has notified the Secretary of State that the applicant has failed to pay charges under relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors and the outstanding charges have a total value of at least £1,000.
An applicant will be refused entry where he/she is seeking entry to the United Kingdom with the intention of entering another part of the Common Travel Area, and fails to satisfy the decision maker that they are acceptable to the immigration authorities there. Also, an applicant will normally be refused where they fail to satisfy the decision maker that they will be admitted to another country after a stay in the United Kingdom.
This is not exhaustive, but attempts to highlight the some of the main reasons for refusal.
- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.