UK Visit Visa Refusals
UK visit visas have a notoriously high refusal rate, with over 200,000 visit visas being refused in 2018.
There are many reasons visit visas are refused, with an applicant having to satisfy the Immigration rules set out in Appendix V.
The rules in Appendix V seem quite straight forward and easy enough to satisfy, however, the reality is that Home Office caseworkers making decisions on visit visa applications are able to give much broader meanings to the rules than Appendix V suggests.
From my experience in helping clients with visit visa applications after they have had refusals, I will list what I believe are the most common reasons visit visas are refused and how a person can mitigate these risks.
Top 2 reasons visit visas are refused
1. Home Office not satisfied that the applicant has presented an accurate account of their financial circumstances
One of the refusal reasons I see frequently from clients who have made applications for visit visas, is that they did not submit enough evidence of the applicant’s financial circumstances.
The Immigration rules under appendix V simply state the applicant ‘’must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without working or accessing public funds’’. As you can see, the rule as written is quite basic and people would be forgiven for simply providing an overview of their financial situation to show they do in fact have the funds to cover their trip.
Unfortunately, the Home Office does not apply the same basic consideration when looking at the application. They, instead, want detailed evidence of all sources of incoming funds into a person’s account and while it is understandable that they want to see a person genuinely holds these funds, their consideration is not as balanced as the rules suggest.
For example, if an applicant has had a large deposit of £1000 the week before they applied for a visit visa and there is no evidence of where this has come from then the Home Office would be well within their right to question the genuine nature of the clients financial situation. However, in my experience, I have seen many refusals where an applicant has clearly evidenced their financial situation, including payslips, employer letters and bank statements, yet the Home Office caseworker has seen fit to refuse an application due to small insignificant deposits not being evidenced.
The best thing an applicant can do is endeavour to provide documentary evidence of all sources of income into the bank account you are using when applying, no matter how small the deposit. The aim is to provide the Home Office with absolutely no reason by which to refuse the application.
2. Home office not satisfied that the applicant intends to return to their home country
Another common reason for refusal is that the applicant has not satisfied the caseworker they intend to leave the UK at the end of their visit.
The reason people see this type of refusal is that they haven’t submitted enough evidence of their ties to their home country, such as employment the applicant must return to after a period of annual leave or family responsibilities they have.
This is usually a major problem when it comes to elderly applicants wanting to visit family in the UK. They have no job as they are retired, their children all lead independent lives and they have nobody who is still dependent on them to return to. This being the case, the Home Office regularly refuse genuine applications where an elderly person wants to visit their family in the UK.
In this situation, I have had success by providing evidence of any ties to their community, such as any duties or role they play in their religious community and any voluntary or charity work they may undertake.
In general, an applicant must provide as much evidence as possible of their intention to leave the UK at the end of their visit. The Home Office will balance the ties and responsibilities an applicant has in their home country with their ties in the UK. For example, if a person is coming to the UK to visit their partner or spouse and they aren’t currently in employment in their home country and don’t have any family commitments, the Home Office may conclude that they are not genuine visitor and there is a high chance they will remain as an overstayer.
The most frustrating point regarding visit visas and the high refusal rate, is there is no appeals process for decisions. Therefore, it is essential that a strong application is submitted.
Please do contact us for an in depth discussion on any visit visa enquiries you have or if would like our assistance in making a visit visa application. You can contact us here