Why UK visitor visas are refused

Visitor visa to the UK is often refused for various reasons. Many of those refusals can be avoided with careful preparation of your application. It is therefore worth spending time to submit best possible application in the first place, in order to minimise the chances of refusal. Any inconsistencies between the information you put in your application form and the supporting documents you submit with your application, tend to be used by the Home Office to justify their refusal.

visitor visa refusal or refused

The most common reason for UK visitor visa refusal is that the Home Office does not believe the applicant is genuinely seeking entry to the UK as a visitor and will leave the UK at the end of their visit. This is related to what ties to their country of origin the applicant evidenced with their application.

For example, if you have a spouse and children in your country, and/or you run a successful business in your home country. The more strong ties you show to the Home Office, the better chances you have to convince them that you are likely to return to your country.

Another thing to pay careful attention is to provide truthful responses to all the questions in the visa application form. It is unfortunately quite common that applicants for different reasons do not inform the Home Office of previous visa refusals, or criminal convictions, or some other matters asked in the application form. This may lead to the Home Office making a decision to refuse the application on the grounds of deception. This has grave consequences for the future visa applications, as it carries a 10- year ban to enter the UK.

Consequences of visitor visa refusal

It is important to keep in mind that depending on the reasons for the refusal, a refused visitor visa can jeopardise chances of your future UK visa applications. Therefore, a decision to apply for a visitor visa to the UK should be taken after careful consideration of all other visa options. Better to be well prepared and informed beforehand than sorry later. Engaging services of best immigration lawyers can prove useful for visitor visa applications.

Therefore, you should carefully analyse your options before committing to any definitive course of action. Your decision may have serious implications for the future applications.

What the visitor visa is for

The Home Office provides a list of activities which are permitted under the visitor visa and reasons to come to the UK. Those include:

There are also activities that are not permitted under the visitor visa scheme or for which the scheme is not designed, Those include:

  • doing paid or unpaid work for a UK company or as a self-employed person
  • claiming public funds (benefits)
  • living in the UK for long periods of time through frequent or successive visits
  • marry or register a civil partnership, or give notice of marriage or civil partnership – you’ll need to apply for a Marriage Visitor visa

Before you apply

Before applying for a visitor visa it is a good to check if you need one and what category of the visitor visa you require. Depending on nationality, you may not be required to make an entry clearance visa application for a visitor visa. You can check this by going to this Home Office website. Many nationalities can travel to the UK for visitor purposes without a formal visa application. Take note: border officials may still refuse entry at the airport or other point of entry.

However, if you are from one of the countries whose nationals are not visa exempt for the UK, you would need to submit an entry clearance visitor visa application. It is crucial to check the eligibility (i.e. whether you meet the requirements) and ensure that you have a strong and compelling case for coming to the UK, supported with well organised documentary evidence.

Vistor visa application must be submitted online, no longer than three months before your planned trip. Standard visitor visa application costs 95 GBP.

What the visitor visa applicant needs to prove

Visitor visa applicant needs to prove to the Home Office conclusively the intention to obey all immigration rules related to the visitor visa, that will not engage in any activities that are forbidden on the visitor visa and will return to their country of origin. In case of many nationalities, one of the most important considerations for the Home Office is whether an applicant is going to return to their country.

Applicants have to provide strong evidence of existing and deep roots in their country of origin. For example a steady job, close family, or other proofs that can help to convince the Home Office that a visitor will head back home after a short stint in the UK

What to do after a refused visitor visa

If your application for a visitor visa was refused, the decision will be communicated to the applicant in a letter from the Home Office. The letter will give you the reasons for the refusal, and inform you if the decision can be challenged. Challenging a visitor visa refusal is a costly and lengthy process. Applicant has to file for a Judicial Review, which is a court process, and involves engaging an immigration lawyer and barrister. The costs of Judicial Review can easily run into thousands of pounds.

This is why, depending on the reasons for the refusal, applicants usually tend to make a further visitor visa application, or apply for another visa category if available in their circumstances, rather than go for the Judicial Review.

Applicant has to bear in mind that a new application should address the weaknesses pointed out by the Home Office in the first application. The new application should therefore normally include additional information and evidence to convince the Home Office to grant the visa this time round.

Applicants need to be extra careful and realistically assess the documents and other evidence when submitting their new application .

Most common questions about visitor visa

Why my visitor visa was refused
There are three reasons why visitor visas are refused: 1.Failure to evidence one of the permitted reasons for visiting the UK. 2. Inability to convince the UK immigration officer of your intention to leave the UK after the visit. 3. Suitability (good character) grounds. For example previous breaches of immigration laws, criminal record, or deception in the application. Deception requires intention but the Home Office frequently forgets to consider intention when concluding that deception took place.
What are the chances of getting UK visa after refusal
Having had a visitor visa application refused has a huge impact on future applications. However, it depends on the reasons for the refusal. In many cases it is still possible to obtain the visa but the task becomes harder after previous refusal or refusals.