Right of appeal removed for applicants refused a UK family visitor visa

Published: 26/04/2013

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) recently announced that a change is to be made to the appeal process regarding those who have been denied leave to enter the UK as a family visitor. The change essentially removes the right of appeal but aims to make it faster for applicants to re-apply if they have been refused.
The change is expected to come into effect on or around 25 June 2013. This follows Royal Assent already having been given on 25 April 2013 to a clause in the Crime and Courts Bill, published on 10 May 2012. This clause essentially gives the green light for the change to be implemented relatively quickly. This change to the appeal process will apply to anyone making an application to enter the UK in order to visit a family member on or after the implementation date.
Removal of the right of appeal brings the family visitor visa in line with all other visitor visa categories. Despite no longer having the right to appeal, refused applicants can still re-apply and specifically address the reasons given for refusal. It is believed that this will be faster and more cost efficient than an appeal. In 2011-12, 95% of visitor applications were processed within 15 days. To put this in perspective and further explain the changes being made, the appeal system often takes up to eight months to reach a verdict.
All official UK Border Agency forms, guides and website information will be updated to reflect the changes in time for implementation.

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