Immigration Corner | Applicants can have a visa application reviewed
Dear Mr Bassie,
Persons might be able to ask for the decision on their visa or immigration application to be reviewed if they applied in the United Kingdom. This is known as a ‘reconsideration request’. This is not a formal appeal or an administrative review, and persons cannot ask for a reconsideration if they have a right to an appeal or a review.
Persons can make a reconsideration request if they believe immigration rules or policies were not followed correctly when the decision was made. Those persons must be in the United Kingdom to make the request.
They can only make a request if they applied in the United Kingdom to:
• Transfer their visa to a biometric residence permit –known as a ‘transfer of conditions’ (TOC);
• Transfer their indefinite leave to remain to a biometric residence permit – known as ‘no time limit’ (NTL);
• Extend their leave, switch visa, or settle over there.
Persons can make a request if their application for TOC, NTL or leave to remain was successful but they believe the type, or the expiry date of the leave is wrong.
They can also make a request if the TOC or NTL application was refused and they have any of the following:
• New evidence about the date of the application;
• New evidence to prove that their documents were authentic;
• Evidence that information received by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) before the decision date was not available to the team who made the decision.
These are the only kinds of new evidence that persons can use. They cannot make a request if it relates to any other sort of new evidence that was not received by UKVI before the decision date. Persons should read the guidance on reconsidering visa or immigration decisions and use the information in their decision or refusal letter to decide if they can make a request.
Persons cannot make a reconsideration request if they have a right of appeal or right to an administrative review against the decision. A person’s decision letter will usually tell them if they have either of these rights.
WHEN THE REQUEST WILL BE REJECTED
The reconsideration request will be rejected if persons:
• Make a new application before or after they send the request;
• Have since been given permission to stay in another visa category;
• Left the United Kingdom and their permission to stay has expired;
• Were removed or deported from the United Kingdom;
• Have already exhausted their appeal rights or lost their case in a judicial review;
• Need to make an appeal or apply for an administrative review, instead of making a reconsideration request.
Persons should write a letter stating why they think the decision was wrong. Refer to the rules or policy under which they applied – check the guidance for the application to find the right rules or policies.
They should send the request to the team who made the decision on the original application – the address will be shown on the decision letter. Persons must make their request as soon as possible and no later than 14 days after they get the decision on the application. Please note that persons can only make one reconsideration request.
Please be aware that those persons who had made requests before November 13, 2012 (known as a ‘legacy request’) and their immigration status is still not resolved, that request will still be considered as long as they meet the guidance requirements.
John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator, and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.