Mon | Jun 27, 2016

What's this about 'administrative review'?

Published:Tuesday | December 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM
John Bassie

Dear Mr Bassie,

I have heard the term 'administrative review' as it relates to visa applications being rejected. Could you please explain what this is?

- GE

Dear GE,

The administrative review process is usually for unsuccessful visa applicants who have made applications under the points-based system.

If a person lives outside the United Kingdom (UK) and his or her application for a visa under the points-based system is refused, he or she generally does not have a full right of appeal. It should be noted that all applicants can apply for an administrative review, which is a mechanism for reviewing refusal decisions. However, if the applicant does have the right to a full appeal then he or she should use the appeals-process mechanism.

Generally speaking, under the points-based system, a person can appeal only on one or more of the following grounds referred to in Section 84(1)(b) and (c) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002:

The decision was unlawful under Section 19B of the Race Relations Act 1976 (c.74) (discrimination by public authorities)".

The decision was unlawful under Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c.42) (public authority not to act contrary to Human Rights Convention) as being incompatible with your Convention rights.'

If an applicant thinks that the UK authorities have made an error in refusing the visa application under the points-based system, then he or she can ask the British authorities to check the decision. This is known as an administrative review. The review will, for example, look at whether the applicant's claimed points were correctly assessed.

The administrative review is free of charge and the person must ask for an administrative review no more than 28 days after the date when he or she received the refusal notice (GV51). When the authorities sends the applicant the refusal notice, it will also send you an administrative review request notice and administrative review request notice guidance notes.

The applicant must complete the request notice in full, and send it to the address stated on the request notice. He or she must not send any additional documents such as a passport, travel document or supporting documents. If the authorities overturn the refusal decision, they will ask the applicant to send in the passport or travel document at that time.

The administrative review will be completed within 28 days and the applicant will be notified of the result in writing. To ensure that the review is independent, the review result may not be sent from the post that made the original decision.

Please be aware that a person may request only one administrative review per refusal decision. If a person makes any further requests for the same refusal decision, they will not be accepted and they will be returned to that person. Also, if the person is already in the UK, he or she cannot apply for an administrative review.

Additionally, if the authorities reject the applicant's partner or child's application for a visa as the dependant of a points-based system migrant, they cannot request an administrative review. This is because an administrative review is used to assess whether points have been correctly awarded, and the applicant's dependant would not have applied under the points-based system. At this point, the applicant's dependant will instead have a limited or full right of appeal.

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: