Understanding the Administrative Review Process for UK Visa Applications

If the UKVI refuses your visa application in some cases, you have the option to request an Administrative Review. This article will help you understand what an Administrative Review is, how to apply for it, and what to expect during the process.

This article is part of our comprehensive series on legal remedies available for UK visa applicants. If you are interested in other legal remedies such as:

  • Appeals
  • Requests for Review/Resubmission
  • Judicial Reviews

each serves a distinct purpose and can be crucial in ensuring fair outcomes. Appeals, Requests for Review/Resubmission, and Judicial Reviews are not always available, so it is important to understand the various circumstances in which these legal remedies apply. You can read about these legal remedies in my other articles by clicking the links above. You can read an overview article HERE.

What is an Administrative Review?

Understanding the Administrative Review Process for UK Visa Applications
Understanding the Administrative Review Process for UK Visa Applications

An Administrative Review is a process where you can challenge the refusal of your visa application. It allows you to request a review of the decision made by the Home Office. The review is carried out by a different caseworker who was not involved in the original decision.

When Can You Apply for an Administrative Review?

You can apply for an Administrative Review if your visa application is refused on specific grounds. These grounds include:

  • A factual error in the decision.
  • A legal error in the decision.
  • The decision did not consider all the evidence you provided.
  • You believe the decision was made using incorrect information.

The Eligible Decision

An application for administrative review will need to relate to one of the following decisions (“the eligible decision”):

  1. Refusal of Entry Clearance Application.

    An Entry Clearance Application is how you get permission to enter the UK before you travel. In other words, this is applying for a visa from outside the UK. All visa nationals on the visa national list have to apply for Entry Clearance.

  2. Refusal of Permission to Enter

    This is the approval you need from UK immigration authorities to enter the UK. Approval is typically given when you arrive at a UK border, such as an airport. When you present your passport and visa (if you need to have one), an immigration border officer checks your documents and may ask you questions about your visit. This is to establish that you meet the relevant of UK Immigration Rules.

    If everything is in order, they grant you Permission to Enter, allowing you to come into the UK for the duration and purpose stated in your visa. For those who are not on the visa national list and don’t need to apply for Entry Clearance before travelling, they are technically asking for Permission to Enter every time they cross the UK border.

  3. Refusal of Permission to Stay

    Permission to Stay is the approval you need to remain in the UK for a longer period. If you’re already in the UK and want to extend your stay, you’ll need to apply for Permission to Stay. This is common for people who want to continue studying, working, or living with family in the UK. If granted, you can legally stay in the UK for the extended time specified.

  4. Cancellation of Permission to Enter or Remain on arrival

    If your permission to enter or remain in the UK is cancelled upon your arrival, and you are left with no permission due to:

    1. Change of Circumstances: There has been a significant change in circumstances since your permission was granted, warranting cancellation.
    2. False Representations or Material Facts: Your permission was obtained through false representations or failure to disclose important facts.
  5. Conditions or Duration of Granted Permission

    When you receive permission to enter or stay in the UK, it comes with specific conditions and a set duration. Conditions could include whether you can work, study, or access public funds. The duration refers to the length of time you are allowed to stay. If you believe there is an error or issue with these conditions or the duration granted, you can request an Administrative Review to have it corrected.

How to Apply for an Administrative Review

You’ll need to take the following steps:

  1. Receive the Refusal Decision: After receiving the refusal notice, check if you are eligible for an Administrative Review. The notice will indicate if you can request a review.
  2. Submit the Administrative Review Application: You need to complete the Administrative Review application form. This form is available here. Ensure you fill it out accurately and attach all necessary documents.
  3. Pay the Fee: There is a fee for the Administrative Review application. Currently it’s £80, but it can change. Make sure to pay it when you submit your form. Keep a receipt of the payment for your records.
  4. Submit Within the Deadline: You have to submit the Administrative Review application within 14 days if you are in the UK or within 28 days if you are outside the UK. Missing the deadline will result in your request being rejected.

What to Include in Your Application

When filling out your Administrative Review application, include:

  • Your full name, date of birth, and contact details.
  • The reference number of the refusal decision.
  • A detailed explanation of why you believe the decision was incorrect.
  • Any additional evidence that supports your case.

What Happens After You Apply?

Once you submit your Administrative Review application, the Home Office will review your case. The process typically takes 28 days, but in practice it usually takes longer. During this time, the new caseworker will examine the original decision and your reasons for requesting the review.

Possible Outcomes of an Administrative Review

There are three possible outcomes of an AR:

  1. Original Decision Upheld: If the reviewer determines that the original decision was correct, they will uphold the refusal. You will receive a detailed explanation of why your request was denied.
  2. Original Decision Overturned: If the reviewer identifies an error, they will reconsider your application. This could lead to a different decision on your visa application.
  3. Partial Decision Change: In some cases, the reviewer might find that only part of the original decision was incorrect. They will correct the error, but it may not change the overall outcome of your visa application.

Tips for a Successful Administrative Review

To increase your chances of a successful AR, consider these tips:

  • Provide Clear Evidence: Ensure all your supporting documents are clear and relevant. The reviewer usually does not consider any new evidence submitted with the Administrative Review application unless it impacts the decision under review and the applicant is permitted to provide new evidence under the relevant Immigration Rules.
  • Be Specific: Clearly explain the error you believe was made in the original decision. General complaints or dissatisfaction with the decision are not sufficient.
  • Meet Deadlines: Submit your Administrative Review application and all supporting documents within the specified timeframe.
  • Seek Legal Advice: If you are unsure about any part of the Administrative Review process, ask for advice from an immigration advisor. They can provide guidance and help you prepare a strong application.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid these common mistakes when applying for an Administrative Review:

  • Incomplete Application: Complete all sections of the application form and attach all necessary documents.
  • Missing Deadlines: Submitting your application late will result in automatic rejection.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Failing to provide clear and relevant evidence will weaken your case.
  • Vague Explanations: Specify the errors you believe were made. Vague or general statements are not helpful.
Understanding the Administrative Review Process for UK Visa Applications