Ask for an administrative
review if your UK visa
31 March 2022
When you apply for a UK visa, your application will be carefully considered by Home Office caseworkers, whose role is to assess applications on a case-by-case basis against the eligibility and suitability criteria for the route as set out in the Immigration Rules. The Home Office will notify you in writing when a decision on your application has been made.
If your visa application is refused, the Home Office will explain the reasons why the decision was made in your refusal letter. Receiving a refusal letter can be a stressful and uncertain time for visa applicants, however there are steps you can take if you believe the decision was made in error.
You’ll be told in your application refusal letter if you can ask for the decision on your visa application to be reviewed. This is known as an ‘administrative review’.
An administrative review will consider whether an ‘eligible decision’ is wrong because of a case working error and, if it is, correct that error. How you apply for an administrative review depends on whether you’re inside the UK, outside the UK or if your visa was cancelled at the border.
Who can apply for an administrative review?
Only certain visa decisions are eligible for an administrative review. Reviews are not available for decisions made on:
- applications under the points-based system made before the date on which administrative review commenced for that route
- applications under Appendix EU (Family Permit)
- applications as a visitor
- protection claims
- human rights claims
- applications for leave to remain outside the Immigration Rules
- transfer of conditions (TOC), no time limit (NTL) or replacement biometric immigration document applications
There is a different way to apply for an administrative review if you applied:
- to the EU Settlement Scheme
- as a Frontier Worker
- as an S2 Healthcare Visitor
- as a Service Provider from Switzerland
In some cases, you may be able to appeal against a decision if you are not eligible for an administrative review. If you are not sure, you should check your Home Office decision letter for more information on the next steps you can take.
If you’re outside the UK
If you applied for your visa from outside the UK, you can only ask for an administrative review if all of the following apply:
- you’re outside the UK
- you applied outside the UK
- your application was refused on or after 6 April 2015
- you do not have a right of appealagainst the refusal
- you did not make an application as a short term studentor a visitor (except if you applied as an S2 Healthcare Visitor)
You must apply for an administrative review within 28 days of getting the decision. You can apply online, and there is a charge of £80 to apply.
If you’re in the UK
If you’re already in the UK, you can ask for your application to be reviewed if one of the following apply:
- your application was refused
- your application was granted but you’re unhappy with the amount or conditions of your leave.
If your application was refused, you must apply for an administrative review within 14 days of getting the decision (or within 7 days if you’ve been detained). Your refusal letter will tell you how to apply. You may be able to apply online. It costs £80.
If your application was granted but you’re unhappy with the amount or conditions of your leave, you must email the Home Office within 14 days of getting your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
If your visa was cancelled at the border
You can ask for the decision to be reviewed if your visa was cancelled at the border for one or more of the following reasons:
- there has been a change in your circumstances
- you gave false information
- you failed to include relevant facts.
Your letter will tell you how to apply. It costs £80.
If you were given temporary admission to the UK, you must apply for an administrative review within 14 days of your visa being cancelled or 7 days if you are detained. You need to do this from the UK.
If your visa was cancelled at border controls outside the UK, you must apply for an administrative review within 28 days of your visa being cancelled in any of the following cities:
Getting a decision
Currently, it can take 6 months or more to receive the result of an administrative review. If you do not get a decision on your application within 3 months, the Home Office will contact you with an update.
Your rights are not affected by the delay in processing applications, and if you are already in the UK you will not usually be removed until your review has been completed.
You cannot request a second review (unless the result of the first review found new reasons why you were refused or had your leave cancelled).
Withdrawing your request
If you wish to withdraw your request for an administrative review, you should email email@example.com and include your name, date of birth, nationality and either your administrative review payment reference number or Home Office reference number in your email.
Your request for an administrative review will be automatically withdrawn (cancelled) if you make any other immigration or visa application. If you are in the UK, your request will also be cancelled if you leave the UK or ask for your passport back so you can travel.
Help with applying for a UK visa
The best way to ensure a successful outcome for your UK visa application is to carefully consider whether you meet the eligibility requirements for the route you are applying under, and to ensure your application is completed thoroughly with the correct supporting documents supplied.
Smith Stone Walters can guide you through the visa application process step-by-step, from assessing your eligibility to identifying the required documents and submitting the application on your behalf.
To find out how we can help, please contact us today.