Immigration Corner I was denied a visa. Now what?
Dear Mr Bassie,
I applied for a visa to enter the United Kingdom and was denied. I was told that I could ask the British authorities to reconsider their decision. Would I be able to do this, and how does this work?
With respect to visa and immigration reconsideration requests, persons might be able to ask for the decision on their visa or immigration applications to be reviewed if they applied in the United Kingdom, and this is known as a 'reconsideration request'.
It is not a formal appeal or an administrative review. Persons cannot ask for a reconsideration if they have a right to an appeal or a review.
Persons can make a reconsideration request if they believe immigration rules or policies were not followed correctly when the decision was made.
Persons must be in the United Kingdom to make the request and they can only make a request if they applied in the United Kingdom to transfer their visa to a biometric residence permit - known as a 'transfer of conditions' (TOC); transfer their 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.
A person can make a request if their application for TOC, NTL or leave to remain was successful but believe the type or the expiry date of the leave is wrong.
He/she can also make a request if the TOC or NTL application was refused and if he/she has any of the following: new evidence about the date of the application; new evidence to prove that their documents were authentic; evidence that information received by United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) before the decision date was not available to the team who made the decision.
These are the only kinds of new evidence that a person can use. A person cannot make a request if it relates to any other sort of new evidence that wasn't received by UKVI before the decision date. A person should also read the guidance on reconsidering visa or immigration decisions and use the information in their decision or refusal letter to decide if he/she can make a request.
Persons cannot make a reconsideration request if they have a right of appeal or right to an administrative review against the decision. The decision letter will usually state if they have either of these rights available to them.
Persons' reconsideration requests will be rejected if they make a new application before or after they send the request; have since been given permission to stay in another visa category; left the United Kingdom and their permission to stay has expired; were removed or deported from the United Kingdom; have already exhausted their appeal rights or lost their case in a judicial review; need to make an appeal or apply for an administrative review instead of making a reconsideration request.
Persons can make a request by writing a letter saying why they think the decision was wrong, and they should refer to the rules or policy under which the application was made. It is important that persons check the guidance online for their application to find the right rules or policies, then send the request to the team who made the decision on the original application. Please note that the address will be shown on the decision letter.
Persons must make their request as soon as possible and no later than 14 days after getting the decision on their application. Please note that 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:firstname.lastname@example.org