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Refusal rate for family visit visas jumped after appeals abolished

The refusal rate for family visit visa applications jumped by 6 percentage points in the period after abolition of appeal rights in July 2013.

This ought to come as no surprise. As Tony Blair once said (Hansard vol 213, col 43, 2 November 1992):

When a right of appeal is removed, what is removed is a valuable and necessary constraint on those who exercise original jurisdiction. That is true not merely of immigration officers but of anybody. The immigration officer who knows that his decision may be subject to appeal is likely to be a good deal more circumspect, careful and even handed that the officer who knows that his power of decision is absolute. That is simply, I fear, a matter of human nature, quite apart from anything else.

It is, of course, disappointing nevertheless. What will happen when rights of appeal are curtailed under the appeal provisions of the Immigration Act 2014?

The data was released following a Freedom of Information request and appeal. The full data was as follows:

Period Refused
July 11 – Jun 12 18%
July 12 – Jun 13 19%
July 13 – Sept 13 25%

If you are affected by one of these refusals, I’ve put together an ebook guide to challenging visit visa refusals which is available for download. It is intended for members of the public but lawyers might be interested as well.

Visit visa refusals book cover

£9.99 – Buy now Includes 20% tax
Colin Yeo
Colin Yeo A barrister specialising in UK immigration law at Garden Court Chambers in London, I have been practising in immigration law for 15 years. I am passionate about immigration law and founded and edit the Free Movement immigration law blog.

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