Administrative Review, Appeals and Judicial Review

In every case but with a couple of exceptions (e.g., visitor visas) if a visa application is refused there will be a right of challenge either by way of appeal to the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal or by way of Administrative Review to the Home Office/UKVI.

So, for example family visa applications, private life applications and long residence applications carry the right of appeal if they are refused, and work and study visa applications carry the right to Administrative Review. Revocation of British citizenship also carries the right of appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal.

With an appeal the Tribunal hears the appeal case, which can be presented just on the papers or with a live hearing with witnesses before an Immigration Judge. All appeal cases are heard in the UK. The Judge looks at the case from scratch and decides whether the Home Office/UKVI decision was right; if not the Judge can direct the decision-maker to change the decision and grant the visa/application.

Administrative Review is carried out by a Home Office/UKVI official and can only be done on paper. The official decides whether the decision was correct and if not, they will reverse the decision.

An Administrative Review is a much quicker and simpler process than an appeal but not as thorough.

In cases where there is no right to either appeal or Administrative Review there is the right to Judicial Review. This is a process before the Upper Immigration Tribunal or in some cases the High Court where the court looks at the decision and decides whether it was in any way flawed – if for example the law was not followed correctly, or the decision was not within the range of reasonable decisions. If the court decides that the decision was flawed it will quash the decision and direct the decision-maker to retake it, this time on the correct basis. (The decision-maker may make the same decision as before but in a different way.)

If a visa application is refused and a challenge is unsuccessful then in some cases, there is on onward right to Judicial Review challenge. Other types of home Office decision, e.g., revocation of a visa or of settlement, do not carry any right of challenge other than Judicial Review.

So, you might say that Judicial Review is possible where there is no other right of challenge or where all other avenues have been exhausted.

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    Administrative Review, Appeals and Judicial Review

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