Visa Rejections and Refusals – CAS

Visa Rejections and Refusals

There is a very clear legal distinction between a rejected (invalid) and a refused application.

A refused application

A refused application is a valid application which has been processed and the Home Office have decided that the applicant fails to meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules. For example, if the applicant has not demonstrated the required level of funds in their bank account or has submitted a translation which does not meet the policy guidance requirements or has submitted a photocopy rather than an original document.

In order for the Immigration Service to offer advice to you about your refusal, we ask that you complete a formtelling us of your refusal and upload the refusal notice so we can advise you on the best course of action.

If you are in the UK you should urgently seek immigration advice from us and book an appointment to see an adviser at the earliest opportunity. If you made an in-time application, ie your visa was still valid on the date of application, then you will have appeal rights but a very short time-frame within which to exercise them – quick action will be required to ensure your stay in the UK continues to be legal. The University can help you take forward your appeal and represent you through the process as we have a Students’ Union Adviser who is appropriately qualified and competent to do this. At the Immigration Service we will talk through your options, the implications on your immigration status and enrolment at the University. If appropriate we will then refer you to the appeals specialist.

If your application was made out-of-time, ie your visa had already expired when you applied, you will not have any appeal rights and will be required to leave the UK as soon as possible – this will all be set down in the refusal letter you receive. Sometimes the Home Office retain your passport to ensure that you leave the UK. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation please make an appointment to see an adviser as soon as possible and we will assist you with arrangements and ensure that you know what your obligations and options are.

If you are not in the UK you do not have appeal rights (other than on humanitarian grounds) but can submit an administrative review.

An administrative review is a review of the application you submitted by a differen Home Office official, no new evidence can be submitted in support of an administrative review so this is only an appropriate course of action if you believe you submitted all the correct documentation but the Home Office made a mistake in refusing you a visa. Details on how to do this are detailed in th Home Office Tier 4 policy guidance. Unfortunately administrative review can be a lengthy process so, whilst you may have a basis to make one, you may not have a decision in time to commence or rejoin your course. If this is the case you should therefore also submit a fresh visa application, or, if you have an appropriate current visa, travel to the UK and make an extension application from within the UK. If you choose this travel option you should ensure that you carry all of your supporting documents with you to show at port of entry.

If you are in a position to request an administrative review we would strongly encourage you to do this for two main reasons:

1. If you win your administrative review you will not have a refusal on your immigration record. Any refusals must be declared and explained on all future visa applications for the UK and often for visa applications for other countries.

2. If you win your administrative review whilst making a fresh application your second application fee will be refunded.

If, however, your refusal was a correct decision, then you should pay detailed attention to the refusal notice given to you which will tell you the reason(s) for refusal. If you are in a position to submit a new application with correct documentation then you should go ahead with this if you will be able to obtain your visa in time to travel to the UK. You will need a new CAS in order to make this application as your previous one will be ‘used’ and therefore no longer valid. If you are a continuing student and applied on the basis of having an established presence in the UK, please ensure that your existing UK visa has not now expired as, if it has, you will no longer qualify for established presence and will be required to show the higher maintenance level.

If there is any flexibility in your course start date your CAS will detail your ‘latest start date’ which is the latest date you should arrive at the University to start your course. As long as your fresh visa application can be processed in time for you to travel to the UK for this date then you can go ahead with this. In some cases, such as research degrees, it may be possible to negotiate a later start date and you should contact admissions to discuss this.

Please note that the Immigration Service does not have any influence over the Home Office refusal decisions nor do we have any special contacts at Embassies to overturn or rush applications through. However, if you have received a refusal which is clearly in error and you have a named Entry Clearance Officer and their contact details please forward these to us along with your refusal notice (see flow chart link above).

A rejected (invalid) application

In order for an application to be valid, it must:

  • be made on the correct form with all mandatory sections completed
  • include the correct fee
  • include photos in the correct format
  • include a passport or travel document
  • include a BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) where one has been issued (cards are only currently issued when the visa application is made in the UK)
  • involve a biometrics appointment being booked and attended by the applicant (in the UK and other countries where biometrics are captured)

Where an application is deemed invalid it will be returned unprocessed with the fee payment not taken or refunded. It will be as if an application had never been made and, if your visa has already expired, this has serious implications for your immigration status and record.

If you are in the UK you should book an appointment to see an adviser for specific advice on your options (in particular whether to re-apply from within the UK or to leave and apply for entry clearance) as this can differ depending upon the expiry date of your visa and whether this has already passed. It is very important that you are fully-aware of all the options and implications of your decision on how to proceed.

If you are not in the UK the immigration implications are not so serious, but a delay to obtaining an appropriate visa to start or return to your course could impact on you being able to take up your place on the course or to return to your course. If you do not act swiftly you may need to defer or temporarily withdraw in order to meet strict attendance requirements in compliance with the UK Visas & Immigration (Home Office) rules. You will need to resubmit your application as quickly as you can, ensuring that your CAS is still valid and that any financial documents meet the strict date requirements for your new application date. If you are a continuing student and applied on the basis of having an established presence in the UK, please ensure that your existing UK visa has not now expired as, if it has, you will no longer qualify for established presence and will be required to show the higher maintenance level.

Posted on: 7th April 2016, by : ICS Legal