The removal of full rights of appeal for family visit visas has led to a legal dilemma to those considering a challenge to a refusal: should they give up, re-apply, attempt a human rights appeal or should they launch an application for judicial review? The problem seems all the more acute with many reports of refusals to spouses or relatives who cannot meet the harsh family settlement rules or who would rather live abroad but still want to be able to visit their spouse’s friends and family in the UK.
As a lawyer, speaking frankly, it is hard to know how to advise the client. The rules are still quite new and there are no precedents yet. Without being able to assess the past form of a legal argument, we lawyers struggle to a guess future performance. Until some poor guinea pig becomes a test case on the extent of the potentially vestigial human rights ground of appeal none of us will really know. This is my best stab at a sensible analysis, having given the subject quite a bit of thought.