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Full right of appeal removed for UK family visit visa | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced that a clause in the Crime and Courts Bill will take away the full right of appeal for those applying to enter the UK as a family visitor.

Although subject to Parliamentary approval, the change will almost certainly to come into force by 2014.

UK family visitors who are refused a visa will only be able to appeal on limited grounds of human rights or race discrimination.

In June 2012 the UKBA will also introduce secondary legislation which will tighten the family and sponsor definitions in family visit visa appeals. 

Subject to Parliamentary approval, these changes are also expected to come into force in July 2012.

Those applying to visit a cousin, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew will no longer have access to a full right of appeal, and to use that appeal right, the family member being visited in the UK must have settled, refugee or humanitarian protection status.

These changes will only affect applicants who have been refused a tourist visa to visit family members.

No changes are being made to the rules governing who can qualify for entry to the UK as a visitor and genuine visitors and UK tourists are welcome the UKBA said.

The changes follow a Home Office consultation carried out between July and October 2011. The consultation asked whether applicants refused a family visit visa should have a full right of appeal.

Of those who responded, 39 per cent felt that a full right of appeal should not be retained for this category and 28 per cent felt that it should. 33 per cent didn’t comment.

The Independent Chief Inspector will continue to monitor visa refusals where applicants have no full right of appeal and the UK Border Agency will use this feedback to improve our application and decision making processes.

Further changes following the 2011 family migration consultation will be announced in due course.

As well as removing the full right of appeal for family visit visas, the Crime and Courts Bill also includes provisions relating to UK Border Agency investigatory and other powers.

Processing delays, as well as refusals, are increasingly being experienced by migrants applying for visa extensions, indefinite leave to remain and UK Naturalisation or British Citizenship. Immigration and visa appeals appear to be on the increase.

If your visa or other entry clearance for the United Kingdom (UK) has been refused, you may wish to make an appeal to the Immigration and Asylum  Tribunal (IAT) First Tier Tribunal. Formerly known as the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT).

At a conference in February on how immigration policies are affecting universities and will cost the UK billions in lost revenue, Professor Julia King, the vice-chancellor of Aston University, said her institution had recorded a 39% fall in the number of applications from Indian students this year compared with last.

She added that there had been a decline of 29% in applications from Nigerian students. She put both down to Britain’s immigration policies.

As a result, her institution had £3m less income, which was “quite significant for an institution with a £120m turnover”. Birmingham’s economy would suffer at least a £6m loss as a result, she told the conference.

Meanwhile students and skilled migrant workers, such as nurses, are increasingly turning to countries like Australia, NZ and Canada.

See also:

More staff for Heathrow Airport UK Border announce

Visa and Immigration Appeals on the increase

New visa rules for overseas students ‘will cost billions’ say Universities UK

UK must attract overseas students which are key to future prosperity

71% of passenger searches at Gatwick Airport ‘unjustified’ report says

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR, UK Naturalisation, Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

Overseas students and workers can qualify for a tax refund 

You could qualify for a tax refund if you are an overseas student, work permit holder, Tier 1, Yellow or Blue Card holder – in fact any visa type – even if you are no longer legal or even in the UK!


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