News story

Right of appeal for family visit visas abolished

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Removal of right of appeal for family visit visas will save more than £100 million over next decade.

The full right of appeal for applicants seeking entry to the UK as a family visitor has been removed.

From today (25 June, 2013), there will be no right of appeal against the refusal of a family visit visa application, unless the appeal is on human rights or race discrimination grounds.

Streamlined visa process

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:

Family visitor appeals make up more than a third of all immigration appeals going through the system, with many applicants using it as an opportunity to submit information that should have been included in the first place.

Removing the right of appeal will save £107 million over the next decade, making the process faster and cheaper for applicants and allowing officials to focus on more complex cases, such as asylum claims and foreign criminal deportations.

Faster decision making

Previously, the right of appeal was being used by applicants to submit further information to support their claim, instead of making a fresh application.

Under the new system, anyone refused a visit visa may reapply as many times as they like and can provide additional information in support of their application.

A decision will also be received much more quickly through this method – typically 15 days in comparison to the appeal route, which can take up to eight months.

With 46,000 visit visa appeals received last year alone, removing the burden of these appeals should allow visa staff to make decisions quicker and lead to an improved customer service.

Crime and Courts Act

These changes were brought in as part of the Crime and Courts Act, which received royal assent in April.

For more information on the changes to the family visitor visa, please visit the UKBA website.