Tue | Jul 17, 2018

Immigration Corner | Reconsidering a request

Published:Tuesday | June 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

Is it true that a person who has a visa application refused can request that it be reconsidered without making a formal appeal?

- G.T.


Dear G.T.,

With respect to visa and immigration reconsideration requests, persons might be able to ask for the decision on visa or immigration applications to be reviewed if the application is made in the United Kingdom. This is known as a 'reconsideration request'. It is not a formal appeal or an administrative review, and persons cannot ask for reconsideration if they have a right to an appeal or a review.

Persons are permitted to make a reconsideration request if it is believed that immigration rules or policies were not followed correctly when the decision was made. In making such a request, the person must be in the United Kingdom (UK) to make the request.

Those persons can only make a request if they applied to do the following: transfer a visa to a biometric residence permit - known as a 'transfer of conditions' (TOC); transfer indefinite leave to remain to a biometric residence permit - known as 'no time limit' (NTL); extend their leave; switch their visa; or settle in the United Kingdom.

The applicant can make a request if the application for TOC, NTL, or leave to remain was successful, but he or she believes the type or the expiry date of the leave is wrong.

Persons can also make a request if their TOC or NTL application was refused and they have any of the following: new evidence about the date of the application; new evidence to prove that the documents were authentic; evidence that information received by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) before the decision date was not available to the team who made the decision.

It should be noted that these are the only kinds of new evidence that can be used. Persons cannot make a request if it relates to any other sort of new evidence that was not received by UKVI before the decision date.

In determining whether a request can be made, persons should read the guidance notes on reconsidering visa or immigration decisions and use the information in the decision or refusal letter as a guide.

As stated above, persons will not be able to make a reconsideration request if they have a right of appeal or right to an administrative review against the decision, and the decision letter will usually state that either of these rights is available.

It should be noted that a reconsideration request will be rejected if persons make a new application before or after the reconsideration request is sent; have since been given permission to stay in another visa category; have left the UK and their permission to stay has expired; were removed or deported from the United Kingdom; have already exhausted their appeal rights or lost the case in a judicial review; or, again, need to make an appeal or apply for an administrative review instead of making a reconsideration request.

Persons may make a reconsideration request by writing a letter, stating why they think the decision was wrong. However, persons should first refer to the rules or policy under which the application was made and check the guidance for the application to find the right rules or policies. Then the request should be sent to the team that made the decision on the original application. The address will be shown on the decision letter. Please note that the reconsideration request must be made as soon as possible and no later than 14 days after receiving the decision on the application. Persons can only make one reconsideration request.

- 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:lawbassie@yahoo.com.