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Having a visa application rejected can be a confusing, frustrating, and upsetting experience. It always feels personal, somewhat judgemental , and extremely unfair.
The truth is that a UK Visa refusal is a regular occurrence, and the Home Office have no problem handing them out. After all, the Home Office keeps the visa fees from all applications whether they’re successful or not. They also make more money from appeals and resubmitted applications.
We’re often asked how to guarantee that a visa will be accepted. The simple answer is, you can’t get a 100% guarantee, because the Home Office makes the final decision. However, what we can do is make sure your application is completed and submitted correctly to give you the best chance of success.
To help you with this, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common reasons the Home Office reject a visa application so that you can be more informed about how to avoid them.
Top Ten UK Visa Refusal Reasons
- 1. Wrong Documents Supplied.
- It’s really important that you supply all of the documents required for your application. Different visas require different documentary evidence, so you must make sure your application is specific to you, and that nothing is missed out. For example, it’s no good listening to someone who tells you they got a visa with A, B, and C when your application also asks for D, E, and F.
- 2. Documents Sent in the Wrong Format.
- It’s not enough to simply send the documents in a bundle. They need to be placed in the correct, chronological order and presented exactly as required. This even includes using the correct colour ink to fill in the forms. This might seem like a petty reason to refuse a visa, but the best way to look at it is to make reading your application as easy and simple as possible for the Home Office agent.
- 3. Missing Evidence.
- Visa applications might seem simple, and the advice given on the Home Office website does make it appear so. However, the guideline notes only give a general outline and do not go into detail. A missing date or an original copy of an official document can lead to a UK visa refusal.
- 4. Following Guidance from Non-UK Advisers
- This is a very common mistake made by people all across the world. Many UK visa refusal cases happen because the adviser is not qualified or experienced enough in UK immigration law. They might know immigration law in general, or for their own country, but the UK is one of the hardest countries to get a visa for, so you really need to get advice from UK Immigration experts.
- 5. Following Advice from Family or Friends.
- Another large proportion of visa refusals occurs when people seek advice from those closest to them who just don’t have the legal expertise. They may know the applicant very well, but the Home Office is only interested in specific legal evidence and information. It might sound cruel, but they simply do not care about applicants as individuals. It’s all about the numbers, the statistics, and the money.
- 6. Believing the Home Office will be Lenient or “understanding”.
- UK visa requirements are strict. For example, some applicants might think that if the requirement for their visa includes a basic salary of £18,600 and they earn £18,500 that the shortfall of £100 will be overlooked. Not true. Even the very slightest error will not be met with a refusal. There is simply no room for error.
- 7. Non-Disclosure of Previous Issues.
- Often, applicants have had previous immigration or legal issues that they decide not to disclose, such as bans or certain criminal convictions already spent — especially if a long time has passed. But the Home Office misses nothing and questions everything. Worse still, if they believe an applicant has attempted to mislead or misrepresent themselves intentionally (deception) a UK visa refusal might be the least of your worries.
- 8. Applying for the Wrong Type of Visa.
- A common example of this is when people from outside the UK wish to move to and settle in the UK. However, they mistakenly think they have to apply for a visit visa first, and then whilst the UK apply to switch to a settlement visa. “Switching” is not allowed from a visit visa and any suggestion that this might be someone’s plan, the Home Office would also refuse the visit visa.
- 9. Trying to Save Money on ‘Cheap’ Advice.
- Using unqualified advisers is a false economy as their lack of expertise in the intricate details of UK immigration laws, or how to apply those laws correctly can lead to a refusal. A substantial number of people who come to us with a refusal tell us, “My adviser said…” Unfortunately, not all advisers are regulated, and many simply don’t have the knowledge of how to apply the law in the same way a trained, experienced, and qualified solicitor would.
- 10. Relying on Advice from the Home Office/UKVI
- It might seem like the best place to get advice is from the source itself. However, call handlers at the Home Office/UKVI are not trained or qualified to give legal advice. At best, all they will do is redirect you to their website or give you the same general information. They will not be able to discuss the merits of individual cases which might need specific expertise to carefully complete the application.
If you are unsure of your position or would like to guarantee that your application is handled by a knowledgeable specialist, get in touch with one of our friendly team members now on +44 (0)20 3384 4389 to find out how easily we can save you time, money and the anguish and frustration of being refused.