When you apply for a UK visa, you submit your application form along with any supporting documents prior to attending an interview. After that, you’ll need to wait for your visa approval.
However, there are occasions when a visa may be refused. But fear not: you’ll usually have the option to appeal and reapply. And one such option is via Judicial Review.
For certain visa applications, applicants get no rights to appeal while some visa applicants get full rights of appeal if their visa is refused.
Those who have full rights of appeal include:
- Partners, children and other dependent relatives of a UK citizen, or of a person settled in the UK, who are applying for a visa to come to the UK with a view to settlement.
- Family visitors who wish to come to the UK to visit their family member(s) in the UK.
When the embassy gives you right to appeal, it sends you an IAFT-2 appeal form with the notice of your immigration decision. This also includes an information document, which explains how to complete the appeal form.
What is a Judicial Review and How Does it Work?
If the Home Office or the UKBA has refused your application for entry clearance or leave to remain and you’re not granted the right of appeal, then you can challenge by way of Judicial Review against the Home Office and the UKBA.
You can make this challenge and apply for a Judicial Review within 3 months from the date of your refusal letter. This is known as ‘Pre Action Control’. As per civil procedure rules, the Pre Action Control notice must be sent by the applicant to the Home Office/UKBA, allowing them a minimum of 14 days to review and potentially change their decision.
The pre action control letter should explain why you think the decision to refuse your application was wrong. You can give your reasons and provide information and evidence in the letter. After the pre control letter, the Home Office and UKBA may or may not change their decision after a review, and you may be granted the visa or your status of refusal may be maintained.
When the Home Office/UKBA decides to maintain the refusal or it does not respond within 14 days after the Pre Action Control letter, you can make an application for permission to apply for Judicial Review to the Upper Tribunal.
Usually the form to fill in to apply to the Upper Tribunal for a Judicial Review is a T480. You should fill in this form correctly and will need to pay the fee required for Judicial Review in the Upper Tribunal. The application is made on paper and the court decides whether to grant or refuse permission on paper – with or without a court hearing. Generally, the applications for permission for Judicial Review are resolved by consent at this stage, which takes place after negotiations between the Treasury solicitor (which represents the Home Office and the UKBA) and the solicitor of the applicant.
If you are refused permission by the Upper Tribunal, then you can make an application for renewal of permission for Judicial Review. This needs to be made within 7 working days. Whether permission for a review is granted will be decided after a court hearing.
In this process, the court will list the matters for hearing and – after the court hearing – it will grant or refuse you permission. If you are granted permission by the Upper Tribunal, a Judicial Review will take place. The Judicial Review will be listed for hearing and then the Upper Tribunal will decide whether the decision taken by the Home Office/UKBA is in accordance with the relevant laws or not.