This page describes the administrative review process for unsuccessful visa applicants under the points-based system.
If you are outside the UK and your application for a visa under the points-based system is refused, you do not have a full right of appeal.
However, all applicants can apply for an administrative review, which is a mechanism for reviewing refusal decisions.
Can you appeal?
Under the points-based system, you can appeal only on one or more of the following grounds referred to in Section 84(1)(b) and (c) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002:
- the decision was unlawful under Section 19B of the Race Relations Act 1976 (c.74) (discrimination by public authorities)
- the decision was unlawful under Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (c.42) (public authority not to act contrary to Human Rights Convention) as being incompatible with your Convention rights.
If you do have the right of appeal, the Visa appeals page contains more information.
What is an administrative review?
If you think that we have made an error in refusing your visa application under the points-based system, you can ask us to check our decision. This is an administrative review. The review will look at whether your claimed points were correctly assessed by the entry clearance officer.
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 we send you the refusal notice, we will also send you:
- an administrative review request notice
- administrative review request notice guidance notes
You can also download these documents from the right side of this page.
You must complete the request notice in full, and send it to the post which processed your visa appilcation. For contact details use the country finder finder for information on the country where you submitted your application.
Do not send your administrative review to any Immigration Tribunals in the UK as they are not dealt with by HM Courts and Tribunal Services. This may cause significant delay in processing your administrative review.
You must not send any additional documents such as your passport, travel document or supporting documents. If we overturn our refusal decision, we 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 post that made the original decision.
You may request only one administrative review per refusal decision. If you make any further review requests for the same refusal decision, they will not be accepted and will be returned 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 we refuse 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. The Visa appeals page contains more information.
- Administrative review request noticePDF 49KB opens in a new window
- Administrative review request notice guidance notes PDF 52KB opens in a new window