Applying for a UK visa can be very time-consuming and expensive, so if your application gets refused you understandably will feel devastated. The fact that a visa application does take up so much time and often a lot of money means that it is crucial to get it right the first time round.
There are reasons beyond your control which might have contributed towards your application being refused, however below you can find six common errors immigration solicitors come across which you can avoid when applying next time.
Applying for the wrong type of visa
The Home Office are particularly strict when it comes to even the most simple administrative errors. You could be rejected for simply applying for the wrong type of visa. This is because UK categories are set out specifically for certain types of people to gain access to the UK under rules which suit them.
Each visa has eligibility requirements for applicants to meet, so if you apply for the wrong visa category and don’t meet even one requirement, this will lead to the Home Office refusing you entry clearance.
A lot of people think that they can apply for a visit visa and then switch to a more permanent visa category once they are in the UK, but this is not the case. Specialists in immigration AWH Solicitors in Manchester do not recommend taking this approach, because if the Home Office suspect that this is your plan, they will refuse your visit visa altogether.
Failing your English language test
For most UK visas, especially long-term ones, you will need to take a certified English language test. You must achieve a minimum score of B1, but in some cases the Home Office might require a higher score of B2.
Level B1 is the third level of English in the Common European Framework of Reference, and means that you have to be able to speak English at an ‘intermediate’ level. This means you have to know the basics, but don’t have to be able to work or study in English.
Organising your documents incorrectly
In every visa application, the Home Office will pay attention to the smallest details. As well as having to submit all the correct documentation, it also has to be submitted in the correct order. They should be submitted chronologically, with important information shown clearly.
Enlisting an immigration lawyer to help you put your application together properly is your best bet. They will be able to make sure you have everything you need and that it is put together in the correct way.
Failing to disclose your convictions
Although you may not want to, you must include details of any past convictions in your application. If you don’t, the Home Office will think you are trying to hide them and will automatically refuse your visa, and will likely not give you the chance to appeal. You might even get a re-entry ban which will prevent you from coming to the UK for at least a year.
If you have served a sentence for four or more years in prison, no matter where it is, you will never be granted entry into the UK. If you have completed one to four years in prison, you can apply fifteen years after your sentence has finished. If you have completed under a year, you’ll be able to apply after seven years have passed since your sentence ended.
If you have been given a non-custodial sentence, you may be able to apply for a visa three years after the end of your sentence.
Insufficient evidence of your relationship
When you apply for a spouse visa, whether you are married or not, you have to submit evidence of your relationship to the Home Office alongside your application. If you don’t, they will suspect that your relationship isn’t genuine so won’t grant you entry into the UK.
The types of evidence you can use are:
- Joint tenancy agreements
- Joint bank account statements
- A marriage certificate
Try to remember that Home Office employees do not know you and your partner personally, so you need to give them as much evidence of your relationship as possible. Immigration specialists will be able to help you establish what you should submit and what isn’t relevant.
Receiving incorrect advice
Relying on casual advice from family or friends may seem more tempting than hiring a trained immigration advisor, but it can end up with you receiving a refusal on your visa application.
Specialist immigration solicitors know the UK visa system inside out, and will usually prove to be invaluable. They will be able to tailor their advice specifically to your situation so you have the best chance at success.
Appealing a visa refusal
If you have had your visa application refused, you might be eligible to appeal the decision. If this is the case, it will say so on your refusal letter. Whether you can appeal or not will depend on the type of visa you applied for in the first place. Generally though, the below categories carry the right to appeal:
- Settlement visas
- Family visas
- Human rights, refugee protection or asylum applications
If you are eligible to appeal, you must do so within 28 days of the date on your refusal letter. You should seek the help of an immigration solicitor to help you submit your appeal.
All other visa types do not have automatic appeal rights. However, you can apply for an administrative review of your refused application if your refusal letter says you can do so. Administrative reviews are carried out by an entry clearance officer instead of the appeals tribunal.
If you require assistance with a visa application or appeal immigration solicitors in Manchester, AWH Solicitors will advise and guide you through the process, making it as smooth and successful as possible.