What do immigration officers look for when assessing visit visa applications?
“Two visas had been rejected … I was wrenched by a heavy feeling of humiliation…trying to prove that I’m a “normal person” like any Englishman, that I’m not aspiring to swap my career in Egypt as a cartoonist [and] scriptwriter … for British social welfare, that I really want to see my wife’s grandmother who is really old, and that’s it.” – Andeel, Egypt (taken from an article featured in Mada Masr, an Egyptian online newspaper) In the year to September 2016, UK immigration authorities received almost 2 million applications for visit visas. Just over 15% of these applications were rejected. That is almost 300,000 decisions to refuse entry. We...6th March 2017
Could Donald Trump be given a visa ban preventing him travelling to the UK?
Following his attention seeking call for all Muslims to be banned from entering the United States, there have been calls for Donald Trump to be given a “visa ban” preventing him from coming to the UK. Is this feasible in UK immigration law? The answer is probably “yes” although one recent court challenge by Jeremy Corbyn and others to a visa ban did succeed on free speech grounds. Whether banning a self publicist like Trump would be wise or would be counterproductive is another matter. Related9th December 2015
ICI Inspection on Amman Visa Section: improvements made but same old problems remain
Improvements have been made to the quality of decisions and to record-keeping in the Home Office’s Visa Section in Jordan. However, the decision makers regularly failed to take supporting evidence adequately into account, and, in a fifth of cases, based their decision on incorrect facts. The Amman Visa Section is a visa processing unit dealing with visa applications from the Middle East and Pakistan. It came under inspection in March by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders & Immigration. The inspection only covered “Other Visitors” – that is, mainly tourist, business visitor, and short-term student visas. The full report can be found here. Related6th November 2015
Inspection of family visit visa system: serious problems remain
The family visit visa system underwent an inspection by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration last month. The posts inspected were Abu Dhabi, Accra, Amman, Dhaka, Kingston, Manila, Nairobi, New Delhi, Croydon and Sheffield. The Inspector confidently declares that there is “no evidence that the removal of the full right of appeal from Family Visitor visa applicants had led to a higher refusal rate or to an overall reduction in decision quality.” There is also no evidence in the public domain which might either confirm or refute this claim. However, the assertion appears to conflict with the figures on family visit visa refusal rates which this blog uncovered just...24th August 2015
Ai Weiwei refused full UK visa because of alleged previous “conviction”
In an interesting example of the self defeating nature of the UK’s immigration rules, failure to follow Home Office policy and failure of basic common sense, the renowned Chinese artist Mr Ai Wei Wei has been refused a visit visa by a senior British immigration official. He has been granted entry outside the rules, but entry has been restricted to just 20 days compared to the normal 6 months that is granted to most visitors. The Guardian is reporting the story and has a full copy of the letter received by Mr Weiwei. Related30th July 2015
Family visit appeal fails on human rights grounds
In the case of Adjei (visit visas – Article 8)  UKUT 261 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal dismisses an appeal against refusal of a family visit visa. This is despite the First-tier Tribunal finding that the application in question in truth met the requirements of the Immigration Rules and that the visit was between parent and child, albeit that both were adults. Related2nd June 2015