UK visa refusal: appeal or reapply?

If you have applied for a UK visa and your application has been refused, your first reaction may well be “how do I appeal?” The terms of many refusal notices can be a distressing mix of the impersonal and the insulting, and there is only a limited time in which to appeal.

However, it is often worth thinking about the alternative of making a new application, in the context of your overall visa aims. Some things to consider:

  • The visa appeals process can take a long time. If you are overseas, the first thing that happens when you appeal to the First Tier Tribunal is that your appeal is sent back to the Entry Clearance Manager for review at the office that made the original decision. It can take 2-4 weeks for your appeal to reach the Entry Clearance Manager, who then has up to 12 weeks (for settlement applications) to review the decision and send documents back to the Tribunal. Once the Tribunal has received the papers, it can list the case for a hearing. At the moment the listing process is taking up to 9 months meaning that it could be over a year before your case gets in front of a judge.
  • Consider what evidence you have to support your appeal. “Post-decision” evidence can be acceptable if it proves facts as they were at the time of the decision (for example, evidence of continuing contact between partners or spouses can help to prove that a relationship was genuine at the date of decision). However, you won’t usually be able to rely on this kind of evidence if you only met the requirements of the rules after the decision date. A good example of this is your English language test: you cannot prove that you met the requirements if you only took your test after your application was refused, even if you passed.
  • If you now meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules for your visa category, a new visa decision could take as little as 2 weeks, depending on where you are applying from.
  • Consider submitting an appeal and making a new application simultaneously. If you are appealing and making an application from outside the UK this is perfectly permissible. If your second application is refused, you could still use the earlier appeal to get your case heard by an independent judge.
  • Some decision-making posts are amenable to direct representations, which can be worthwhile if your case is very clear. However, it is a good idea to set yourself a deadline by when you will revert to the fresh application process, otherwise you can get carried along the appeals process for several months.

Note that this post is most relevant to people making settlement visa applications: Points-Based applicants must rely on the “Administrative Review” system, and many visa categories carry no right of appeal unless your right to private and family life are breached by the decision.

Contact me if your application has been refused and you want advice about what to do next.



There are 21 comments

  1. Ni Lar

    Dear sir/madam
    I’m still waiting for my court date.. Had been refused on December 2015, and we appealed within 28 days and again came letter on February 2016 saying notice of pending appeal .. Since then nothing comes .. I inquiry customer service and complain service they say court busy .. Hv to wait date.. My god I even can’t apply for visit visa it’s been 1 year I got married n staying without husband.. No hope any ideas I’m missing my husband .. I want to live with him .. No hopes for court date coming why this long .. One year waiting for court date 😰😰😰

  2. Ni lar

    Not yet madam .. We just waiting for court date .. Cos when I call court they said it in list just for date waiting .. N it’s been long too ..I don’t hv idea about it.. I’m very depress

  3. sharoon butt

    My spouse visa is refused for uk what can I do I mean what is the best for me gona apeal or make re application pls anw me immediately I have just 2o days left for apeal ?

  4. Kelvin

    Hello, Thanks for the informative post. I need advice please regarding my appeal (spouse visa):
    I submitted my application in July 2016
    Received refusal letter in September 2016 (Reason being that i submitted TOEFL instead of IELTS as english requirement)
    I submitted appeal in October 2016
    I received notice of pending appeal in November 2016
    The Embassy (visa centre) is in Central Europe
    As of this writing (28th Nov 2016) i have not received any information yet again. I called tribunal and they are on holidays. Today is exactly a month since the notice of pending appeal was served.
    Please can you advice:
    Does it take that long for decision to be overturned ?
    Is it allowed to call the Embassy and inquire about the status?
    I would appreciate your response and any suggestions. Thank you.

    1. kittyfalls

      The appeal process can take over a year to complete, and the Embassy is unlikely to give you assistance. If you did not submit the correct language test but you have now taken the right test a new application is likely to be quicker. Please let me know if you would like further assistance.

      1. Kelvin

        Hello kittyfalls, thank you for your response. Can you be reached on phone for further advice? Thank you.

      2. kittyfalls

        Hi Kelvin. I am usually available 10-2 on weekdays, but if there is a time you would prefer then you can send me a text or email and we can arrange something.

  5. Mrs monwuba innocentia.I.

    My 2 kids and myself were refused visa in September last year and we wish to apply now.need to be guided.Thanks

  6. Ijaz

    I applied for my familie’s EEA permit from who are currently residents of Ireland. My wife and younger daughter got the visas after six months in Dec 2017. My elder daughter’s visa was refused because the Home Office were unable to determine whether or not she is my real daughter. To prove the relationship, I am in a process of getting a DNA test which may take longer than the given 28 days appeal time. After reading the information above, I am confused if I should appeal against the decision or should I apply again immediately. My wife and other daughter’s visas will expire in June 2018.
    Please advise.
    Kind regards,

    1. kittyfalls

      Hi. Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to you. If you still need help please let me know. A new application will probably be much quicker once you have the DNA evidence you need. Kitty

  7. Mylene Famero Rivera

    Good day im from Philippines i applied for settlement visa and it was refused due of lack of knowledge in short i refused with the following reasons eligibility relationship requirements but i have already include that civil registry for marriage. Another reason for refusal was the eligibility financial requirements which i already submitted and included also on my application but in fairness to the home office they inform and ask me some relevant and updated documents to submit and i will do that and comply all the documents they asking for and submit it together with my appeal letter. Can i inquire to your good office how long it takes before i get an answer on my application letter appeal for refusal? And can i apply another visa application again? Even im still waiting for the response of my appeal? Which visa can i applied for? Thank you very much and more power

    Mylene Famero Rivera

  8. Mylene Famero Rivera

    Good day kittyfalls i already recieve a notice of pending appeal and its already in the office of the entry clerance officer i was confused again because its stated that its takes 15 weeks of processing before the ECO will decide what is the assurance i got i dont want to get over confidence that they granted my application? Or its still stand for thier original decision of refisal can i apply for a new application and how long i wait again if i withraw my appeal? I was so confused and stress thingking of it everytime my fiancee was already 75years old and we both not getting any younger i missed him so much i want to live with him for the rest of our life its hard to explain its a feeling i dont want to get sick on this situation depress is a disease. Thank you so much hope you can advice me what is the best to do.

    Mylene rivera/philippines

  9. kittyfalls

    Hi Mylene
    The 15 week period allows UK Visas to review the decision. Occasionally they change the decision if it was obviously wrong to refuse. However, in many cases they return the file to the Tribunal so that a date for a hearing can be set. This could be as much as 12 months away. You can make a new application while your appeal is pending, but the likelihood of success will depend on the reasons for refusal, and the new evidence you can supply.

  10. Mylene Famero Rivera

    Good day kittyfalls thank you for the reply i really appreciate all the reply from your good office i already recieve notice from the tribunal office and my refusal appeal is already return to the ECO its been already two months in the ECO i thinks its still stand to thier decision. Can i apply now a new application? It cannot affect or when i apply my new visa application will be refused again and maybe ill be black listed? We have plan that my boyfriend come over here in philippines and we get married here and i apply a spouse visa after marriage it is much better? Thank you and more power.

    Mylene Rivera

  11. Manisha

    My Husband applied for a spouse visa on 8th July 2018, We received our documents back on 15th August and collected his passport on 5th October. However he received a refusal letter with the passport stating that the only reason for refusal was that we only provided 3 payslips instead of 6. In reality we provided six payslips covering January to June 2018 which they have clearly missed out and these 6 payslips were also returned to us with the other supporting documents in August. My question is whether we should appeal (but we are not ready to wait for months) or could we appeal as well as re-apply simultaneously?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. kittyfalls

      Hi Manisha
      Sorry to hear about what happened to your husband’s application. You can certainly reapply, and this is often the quickest way to resolve things. If you appeal and send a copy of the appeal to the UK Visas international address as well, you might get a quick turnaround for a very simple issue, but unfortunately it’s difficult to be certain. I recommend making a complaint whatever you do, so UK visas is aware of the issue. Let me know if you would like any help with your case. Kitty

  12. Mylene Famero Rivera

    Good day kittyfalls
    I apply an appeal last year and the home office was on time to give me an notice regarding to my appeal but to make an story short as the appeal wa still on process dor the decision they don’t I form me and the worst issue was they stand dor thier original decision or im still refused even I do all my best and I submit all the necessary documents they required and the things I cannot accept was they don’t furnished me the copy of thier decision the copy was send into my fiancee in UK. Anyway it’s already done all the stress and all the disappointment I already experience on it. The queation is can we apply again an new application fiance visa? Is my last refusal and appeal cannot affect my new application? And another question is there any new rules and policy in the immigration that there is a age limit for marriage or fiancee visa?

    Thank you so Much and more power

    Mylene Rivera

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