UK Visa Appeals – Different types of Appeal

Visa Appeals – Different types of appeal

This page should be read in conjunction with our “Do I have the right of appeal” page (click here to open this page in a new window). This page explains the different types of appeal in the UK immigration system.

Different categories of UK visa appeals

Usually, when we talk about whether or not a UK visa refusal attracts the “right of appeal”, we talk about the “full right of appeal”. There is, however, also another category of appeal, the “limited right of appeal” also referred to as the “residual right of appeal”. In a nutshell, the difference is this; a full right of appeal gives you the right to appeal against the reason for the refusal. In contrast, a limited, or residual, right of appeal does not. You can only exercise a limited/residual right of appeal on two grounds, namely if you believe that the decision to refuse your application is unlawful on human rights grounds and/or on race discrimination grounds.

Apart from these two categories of appeals, the UK immigration rules also provide for an “Administrative Review”. This applies to Points Based System applicants only. This is not an appeal; it is a review of the refusal decision by an Entry Clearance Manager. Whilst an Administrative Review (AR) is not a right of appeal, we will cover the Administrative Review as well.

Limited/Residual Right of Appeal

What is it?

All visa refusal decisions attract a right of appeal on residual or limited rights of appeal. These are defined as appeals on race discrimination and human rights grounds. These grounds are residual because they derive from non-immigration legislation. If you applied in a visa category that does not attract a full right of appeal, you will have been issued with refusal notice form GV51 LRA (LRA = Limited Right of Appeal). The form will clearly state that you have a limited right of appeal only. It will not, however, explain how to exercise that right of appeal. Nor will your notice of decision be accompanied by an Appeal form.

If you wish to submit an appeal on race discrimination and/or human rights grounds and were refused with a limited right of appeal, you can request the Embassy/Consulate/High Commission for form IAFT-2 (via the commercial partner where direct contact with the Embassy is not possible). The Embassy must provide you with an IAFT-2 appeal form and re-serve the reasons of refusal (without making any changes) on a GV51 FRA (Full Right of Appeal) refusal notice. You will have 28 days from the date of receipt of the GV51(FRA) to lodge the appeal with the Tribunals Service (see our “Do I have the right of appeal” page for the procedure – click here to open that page in a new window).

Which applications attract a limited/residual right of appeal?

Basically, all visa refusals attract a limited/residual right of appeal in the sense that even if you have the full right of appeal, you can still raise human rights and race discrimination grounds. From July 9 2012 those that are refused with a limited/residual right of appeal only are:

1. General visitors
2. Applicants refused a visa to visit a non qualifying relative (contrary to applications submitted before 9 July 2012, an aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or first cousin will no longer be able to lodge a full right of appeal, even if the relative they are visiting has the required status)
3. Business visitors
4. Academic visitors
5. Doctors on clinical attachments and dental observers
6. Student visitors
7. All points-based system categories
8. Dependants applying at the same time as the principal applicant, when the principal applicant is refused
9. Refusal under paragraph 320 (1) – 320 (6).

Full right of Appeal

As explained in our “Do I have the right of appeal” page, the following categories of applicant attract the full right of appeal:

1.. Family visitors (only those that have applied to visit so-called “qualifying family members” have a full right of appeal. For a definition of “qualifying family member, please see our “Do I have the right of appeal page” – you will find the information at the bottom of that page);
2. Settlement and dependant categories (including PBS dependants). This applies to dependants where the main applicant has been issued entry clearance and is in the UK (e.g. the sponsor was issued with a PBS Tier 2 visa, is in the UK, and you have applied to join him/her), and to applicants that wish to join “settled” (i.e. the sponsor is a British citizen or a person that has Indefinite Leave to Remain) family members in the UK;
3. EEA family permits (exception: if you have not provided evidence of the EEA national’s nationality and/or of your relationship to the EEA national, a refusal does not attract the full right of appeal);
4. Overseas domestic workers.

You will have been issued with form GV51 FRA (FRA = Full Right of Appeal), your appeal rights and the appeal procedures will have been explained on the form, and you will have received an appeal form (form IAFT-2). The appeal process has been outlined in our “Do I have the right of appeal” page (click here to open that page in a new window).

Administrative Review

If you have applied under the Points Based System, you have a limited right of appeal (see above), not a full right of appeal. This means that you cannot appeal against the refusal decision as such; you can appeal on race discrimination grounds and human rights grounds only (see procedure under Limited Right of Appeal above). You do, however, have the right to request an Administrative Review (AR). The AR is not a right of appeal. As a result, the decision to refuse your application will not be reviewed by an Immigration Judge at the Immigration Tribunal either. Instead, an AR is a review carried out by an Entry Clearance Manager.

What is an Administrative Review?

If you think that the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) has made an error in refusing your visa application under the points-based system, you can ask an Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) to check the ECO’s decision. This is an administrative review. The review will, for example, look at whether your claimed points were correctly assessed.

The administrative review is free of charge.

You must ask for an administrative review no more than 28 days after the date when you receive the refusal notice (GV51). When UKBA sends you the refusal notice, they will also send you:

  • an administrative review request notice
  • administrative review request notice guidance notes

You must complete the request notice in full, and send it to the address stated on the request notice.

You must not send any additional documents such as your passport, travel document or supporting documents. Any additional documents you sent will not be considered; the ECM checks if the decision of the ECO was correct at the time s/he reached the decision; i.e. on the basis of the documents that were available to the ECO at the time you submitted your application. If UKBA overturns the refusal decision, they will ask you to send in your passport or travel document.

The administrative review will be completed within 28 days. You will be notified of the result in writing. To ensure that the review is independent, the review result may not be sent from the Embassy/Consulate/High Commission that made the original decision.

You may request only 1 administrative review per refusal decision. If you make any further requests for the same refusal decision, UKBA will not accept them and will return them to you.

If you are already in the UK, you cannot apply for an administrative review.

Dependants of applicants under the points-based system

If UKBA rejects your partner or child’s application for a visa as the dependant of a points-based system migrant, they cannot request an administrative review. This is because an administrative review is used to assess whether points have been correctly awarded, and your dependant did not apply under the points-based system.

Your dependant will instead have a limited or full right of appeal. Whether s/he has a limited or full right of appeal will be stated on the refusal notice.

The text above is an adaptation of the contents on the UKBA website as at 20 August 2012.

Remember, immigration law is complex and subject to continuous change. The information provided here may be out of date, or just based on personal experience/knowledge. The use of these pages is therefore entirely at your own risk. Before applying for any type of visas, you should always seek information from the authorities direct via their official websites. You will find some useful website details on our Links page.

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20 Responses to UK Visa Appeals – Different types of Appeal

  1. Emmz says:

    I was refused for Tier 4 Student Visa general, ECO stated that he is not satisfied If I was a genuine student 245ZV(k). I was called for an interview after submitting my application. I was asked by the ECO about last date of my Qualification because I didn’t provide my recent Qualification Certificate as it was not mentioned in CAS so the college asked me to provide the documents mentioned in CAS only. So when the ECO asked me about my last qualification I made a human error by saying it was in 2009, I had totally forgotten that my recent qualification was in 2012. He mentioned that I obtained an extension of 1 year for UAE student visa illegally so I believe you will have same intention in future in UK. Whereas, it was lawful for me to obtain an extension under family visa as my family lives in UAE till the age of 21. There were 2 more reasons which I want to mention later after I get a reply from you. I have applied for an AR.

    I would like to know that will these counter-arguments overturn the decision? or just points claimed refusal decisions have the right for AR?

    • Dear Emmz,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. You can (can) submit a request for AR. It will be relatively easy to provide evidence that it was lawful to obtain an extension of your UAE family visa, for example, by attaching the relevant section of UAE immigration law which confirms that, in your circumstances, you were entitled to extend. As for the discrepancy in the year that you obtained your last qualification (2009/2012); I fear that this will be harder to explain. I fear that the ECM may well reason that, if you obtained your last qualification as recently as 2012, you should’ve remembered that. In other words, it’ll be down to the ECM if he or she accepts this as a human error on your part. But to answer your question; yes, you can request an AR.

      Kind regards,

      • Emmz says:

        Thank you for replying, I have already requested for an AR.

        Is it fine if I mention here what I have written in my AR over here, so that you can give your expert opinion about what you think about it.

        Thank you

        • Dear Emmz,

          Thank you for your message. We strongly advise against publishing any personal details on any website. If you publish anything on open sources, this should be in general terms only, stripped of any personal details. If you wish, we are happy to offer our opinion on your request for AR. I have sent you a PM.

          Kind regards,

  2. Joseph IVAN says:

    PLEASE so here i only have UK VISA SECTION stam in my passport, so where do i send the AR to? Am confused, to ITALY OR UK nad which address?

    • Dear Ivan,

      Please refer to our previous reply. The UK Visa Section means the UKBA visa section in Croydon. In order to apply for an AR, you need a) an AR request notice (see link in our previous reply if WorldBridge are unable to provide you with one) and b) you need to know how and where to send it to. If a Tier 4 general student application is refused, the visa section automatically sends an AR request notice with the notice of refusal. In your case, they must have forgotten to send this. This is an error on their part. We know that you will need to send your request to Croydon but, unfortunately, processes vary from Post to Post and I am unaware of whether, from Italy, you need to send this to Croydon direct, or to Croydon via WorldBridge. Our advice would be to contact WorldBridge in Rome as soon as possible. I would’ve advised to send a quick e-mail to one of the ECMs in Croydon but, unfortunately, their e-mail addresses are not available on the UKBA website (it only lists a postal address). For the record, the form that you received, Form IAFT-2, is to be used if your application attracts a full right of appeal (which a PBS Tier 4 application does not), or you wish to appeal on human rights or race relations grounds. Again, if you wish the ECM to review the ECO’s grounds for refusal of a Tier 4 general student application, the correct form is the Administrative Review Request Notice.

      Hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

  3. Dear Ivan,

    Thanks for visiting our blog.

    You say that you were refused in Italy. I don’t know when you submitted your application and which office refused your application but I assume that this was after the UKBA visa section in Rome closed and that, as a result, your application was processed (and decided on) in Croydon. You will need to submit your application for administrative review within no more than 28 days after the date when you received the refusal notice, to the address provided on the notice.

    As for the validity of your CAS, your CAS is valid if: a) the CAS contains the same details as are in your passport; and b) the CAS was assigned no more than 6 months before the date when you applied for your visa; and c) if your CAS has not been withdrawn or cancelled by your education provider. Given that you say that the ECO awarded you 30 points for your CAS and that the reply from your education provider suggests that there was nothing wrong with your CAS, without knowing the precise details of your case, it would appear that this was an error on the part of the ECO. If you are 100% certain that your CAS was valid at the time, you could therefore certainly raise this in your application for AR. You may even wish to contact your institute for confirmation that your CAS was valid at the time to support your application for AR.

    As for the balance of your account; I am unaware of when you submitted the application. I am equally unaware of your circumstances, and therefore also of what amount you were required to hold to qualify for the visa by law. The rule is, however, that you must show that you have held the required money for a consecutive 28 day period (finishing on the date of the closing balance) ending no more than 31 days before your application. In other words, if, as you say, you were required to show £7,200, that £7,200 should have been in your account for at least 28 consecutive days, finishing on the date of the closing balance, ending no more than 31 days before the date you paid the visa processing fees. If this was the case, and the ECO refused you on the grounds that you did not show that you had the required funds and/or that the required funds were not in your account for the required period, you have good grounds to submit an application for AR.

    As I say, an application for AR must be submitted within 28 days from the date that you received your Notice of Decision (i.e. your refusal). The Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) must review your case within 28 days from receipt of your AR and will advise you of the outcome of his/her appeal following his/her review. If your AR is successful, and a visa can be issued, he or she will then notify the application centre (VAC) in Italy where you will then also have to submit your passport again. Your passport will, again, be forwarded to Croydon, where the visa will be issued. All in all, this process could therefore well take up to two months. As for your course, I would therefore strongly suggest that you contact your education provider, explain again that your application was refused, that you have submitted an application for AR, and that you might therefore be arriving late. Seek the education provider’s permission to arrive late. Your education provider will, if late arrival is authorised, inform UKBA of this. This is in your best interest because, if you do not advise your education provider of a possible late arrival and your visa is granted on AR, you may still run into problems since, under PBS, institutions are required to report any students who have not arrived within 10 days of registration to UKBA. Seeking your institute’s approval for (a possible) late arrival is therefore always a must.

    Without knowing the precise details of you case, I’m afraid that it is difficult to offer you conclusive advice. However, the above provides you with the PBS rules that are relevant to the case as described by you and should therefore hopefully be helpful.

    I wish you every luck with your AR.

    Kind regards,

    • Joseph IVAN says:

      Thanks a lot for your advice, i really appreciate it. Am going to to do the AR review right now. Please my CAS was issued on 1/11/2012 and i submitted my application to VAC rome on 20/11/2012. The visa was also refused at the UK VISA SECTION. That was the stamp of the post where the visa was refused. As for the bank statement the ECO confused theses two words in Italian language: INIZIALE SALDO which means INITIAL BALANCE and SALDO ALLA DATA which means BALANCE ON THE DATE. My statement was from 20/09/2012 to 16/11/2012. So the ECO just took the initial balance without even checking the balance on date, which was more than the £7200 that was required for maintenace. I ve already paid for my tuition fees for the year. Am suppose to send the AR to Leicester and how can i follow the process so that i can update the college on its progress?

      • Dear Ivan,

        Thank you for your message. If your CAS was issued on 1/11/12 and you submitted your application on 20/11/12 (and the CAS was not withdrawn, for example, by your institute in between these dates), your CAS was definitely valid and the ECO therefore incorrectly refused the application on the grounds of production of an invalid CAS. As for your balance, as long as the statement showed the required amount in your account for at least 28 consecutive days, finishing on the date of the closing balance, ending no more than 31 days before the date you paid the visa processing fees, you should be fine. In other words, in your case, you say that the date of the closing balance was 16/11/12. This means that the required funds should have been in your account for at least 28 consecutive finishing on the closing date (16/11/12). If you calculated the required funds correctly, and the required funds were in your account for 28 consecutive days, the ECO should not have refused your application on maintenance grounds.

        I would definitely apply for AR. ARs are not processed in Leicester but are processed by an ECM at the Post that considered your application. You write that you submitted the application in Rome and that the stamp of the Post says “UK VISA SECTION”. The only visa section that uses that stamp is the UKBA Hub in Croydon, UK. Your notice of appeal will say where you need to submit your request for an admin review. This will either be to the UKBA Hub in Croydon direct, or to the VAC in Rome, that will then forward it to Croydon. That, I’m afraid I don’t know. But it should be mentioned on the “request notice”. Please ensure that you submit your request for AR in time. If you submit it too late, it will not (not) be considered. Your request for AR should be received no more than 28 days after the date when you received the refusal notice (i.e. not from the date of the decision but from the date that you received the decision).

        I am afraid that there is no way to track the AR process. You send it off and then, unfortunately, you will have to wait. The ECM will complete the review within 28 days and will notify you of the result in writing. Since the ECM has 28 days from the date he or she receives your request, you will only be able to follow this up once the 28-day period has passed. Your college will be familiar with this process. I would simply advise them that a) your application was refused, b) that you submitted a request for AR on such and such date, c) that you will now have to wait for the outcome of the review, d) that you request that they allow you to start late should this be necessary and e) that you will keep them informed of any developments as and when you receive news from UKBA.

        Hope this helps. Good luck with the AR!

        • Joseph IVAN says:

          Thanks again.Please i was told to submit my appeal at if i want to avoid delays to my appeal and send the documents including the notice of Decision by post to:
          First-tier Tribunal(Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
          PO Box 6987
          United Kingdom
          LE1 6ZX
          Please i ask of the process time and how to track it because i have a friend who submitted her appeal online on 13/12/2012 and posted the necessary documents by registered post but as at today she has not even receive any acknowledgement of his appeal. What should she do?

          About my own i have send the appeal today and they even charge me £80 on the form IAFT-2.
          I contacted my school and emailed a copy of the notice of Decision and they said, because what the ECO said about my bank statement that is why it is not valid but since i also send a copy of the bank statement to them, they said i can do the AR. What do you say?

          • Dear Ivan,

            An appeal and an Administrative Review are two different things. If you applied for a Tier 4 student visa, a refusal attracts the right to apply for Administrative Review. This is conducted by the ECM and the process is free of charge. In addition, a Tier 4 student visa refusal attracts a limited right of appeal. Appeals are processed in Leicester. A limited right of appeal means that you can only appeal on Race Relations (discriminiation) or Human Rights grounds; you cannot appeal the ECO’s reasons for refusal as such. Appeals attract a processing fee. In other words, what you need to do is submit a request for an Administrative Review (free of charge). You should have received an administrative review request notice. On this notice, it should say where to send your request for administrative review. Again, administrative reviews are not processed in Leicester; they are conducted by an ECM at Post. ARs following refusal decisions taken in Croydon are processed by an ECM in Croydon. You can find confirmation of this process on the UKBA website here.

            As for your friend, did she submit an Appeal, or a request for an AR? If it’s an AR, she can follow this up with the Post after 28 days of receipt of the request for the AR by the ECM. There is no tracking service for this. If she submitted an Appeal, she would need to contact the First Tier Tribunal, Phone: (+44) (0)845 600 0877, Fax: (+44) (0)1509 221403, Email: As I said before, it is important to note that Appeals and ARs are two separate things. If your Tier 4 student visa is refused, you request an Administrative Review. If, in addition to the ECO’s reasons for refusal, you also feel that the decision is discriminatory and/or violates your human rights, you’d also submit an appeal. With this appeal, the judge would only look at the race relations and human rights aspects of the application. In other words, normally speaking, a students would submit an AR (to the Post), not an Appeal (to Leicester).

            I strongly recommend that you submit a request for Administrative Review. The advice you got from your institute, namely that you should submit an AR, is therefore correct.

            Hope this helps.

            Kind regards,


            • Joseph IVAN says:

              please the only notice that i received was the FORM IAFT-2- INFORMATION, where they have written that they have to receive it by 28days and shold be posted to the Leicester address in UK, SO AM CONFUSE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SAYING?

              • Hi Ivan,

                If you applied for a Tier 4 general student visa, and this was refused, you should also have received an AR request notice. If you did not receive this, the visa section made an error. You can double-check this information by checking Annex 4 to the policy guidance, please click here and scroll down to page 65. Annex 4 clearly explains what happens if your PBS student visa is refused and how you can request a review. f I were you, I’d contact WorldBridge rightaway, explain that your PBS application was refused, that you did not receive an AR request notice and ask them how to act now. Also ask them where and how to send the request. This will either be to Croydon direct, or to WorldBridge, who will then forward it to Croydon. It’s a shame that you did not receive your request notice because that would’ve explained how and where to send the form to. I reconfirm that in order to apply for a review of a refusal of a tier 4 general student visa application, you will need to complete and send an AR request notice. The request notice can also be downloaded via the link in my previous reply.

                Hope this helps,

                Kind regards,


                • Joseph IVAN says:

                  Thanks again. I will contact the worldbrige centre in Rome. Because i only have that form, i fill the online one of Form IAFT-2- Information Sheet this morning, what should i do about that one because time is not on my side?

                • Dear Ivan,

                  As we said before, if you wish to request an AR, you need to use the Administrative Review Request Notice, not form IAFT-2. The visa section should’ve sent the Request Notice to you but, unfortunately, they ommitted to do this. If WB can’t provide you with one, you can also download an AR Request Notice from the UKBA website, please click here to go to the form. The guidance notes (on how to complete the request notice), can be found here.

                  Good luck!

                  Kind regards,


  4. Joseph IVAN says:

    My name is IVAN, Please i applied for a tier 4 general student visa in ITALY and i was refused by the ECO with these reasons: that my CAS was not valid but the ECO awarded me the 30points, then i was suppose to show £7200 for maintenace but according to the ECO the bank statement i submitted as at 16/11/2012 has a balance of £6823. About the CAS i contacted the school and they said is because of the bank statement that is why it is invalid? About my statement the amount stated by the ECO was the initial balance as at 15/09/2012 but the actual balance was £8450 as at 16/11/2012. Please with this error the ECO made can i apply for Administrative Review and how long will it take since i have to send all the documents to UK? My course also starts on 25th feburary 2013. Please advice me on what i should do? Thank you.

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