Appeals and Administrative Reviews
If a visa application is refused by the Home Office or the British Embassy it may be possible to challenge the decision. There may be, depending on the situation, a right of appeal or a right of administrative review.
Appeals are held before a Judge at the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal in the UK, and the Tribunal can hear appeals against decisions made either in the UK or outside the UK.
Rights of appeal have been significantly reduced in recent times, and most types of visa application no longer have the right of appeal. Only cases concerning human rights, asylum or removal from the UK now have the right of appeal, but other types of visa application do have the right of administrative review, which is a quite different sort of process.
Administrative review is carried out by an official of the Home Office or the British Embassy, and it is a relatively simple review of the decision to ascertain if an error has been made.
Appeals are generally more complex than administrative reviews. Unlike the administrative review process, the appeal process typically involves preparing witness statements, creating bundles of papers for the Tribunal hearing and the provision of legal representation at the Tribunal. And the appeal system has a hierarchy of tribunals and courts, such that if an appeal is unsuccessful before the First-Tier Tribunal there may be a right of appeal to the Upper Tribunal and thereafter there may be a further right of appeal to the higher courts.
Appeals/administrative reviews are a complex area, and unsuccessful applicants need competent advice as to the best way forward for them. Depending on the facts, in some cases, it is better not to try to challenge the decision but instead to submit a fresh application.