Appeals - visas and entry clearance
This page explains how you can appeal against an immigration decision made outside the UK or at the UK border.
If you are in the UK and want to appeal please see the Appeals for extension, switching and settlement applications page for further information.
If your application was refused under the points-based system, this does not attract a full right of appeal. A different procedure, known as an administrative review is in place. Applicants should not use the appeal process described below to request an administrative review. See the Administrative review page for further information.
If we refuse your application, we will send you a letter informing you of our decision. This is called your 'Notice of Immigration Decision' which will explain your appeal rights.
Applicants for some types of visa have full rights of appeal if their application is refused. The most common types of visa applicant with full rights of appeal are:
- partners, children and other dependent relatives of British citizens or settled persons, who are seeking to come to the UK with a view to settlement; and
- family visitors, who want to visit qualifying family members in the UK.
If you have the right of appeal, we will send you an IAFT-2 appeal form with your notice of decision. We will also send an information document explaining how to complete the appeal form.
In most cases, you must pay a fee when you make an appeal. To find out what the fee is and when it needs to be paid, see the guidance accompanying your notice of decision or the Ministry of Justice website.
Making an appeal
If you want to appeal and you have the right to appeal, you must:
- complete form IAFT-2 and send it with your notice of decision to the address or fax number at the bottom of this page; or
- complete and submit an online appeal form on the Ministry of Justice website .
You must complete the form in English.
You should explain why you think we were wrong to refuse your application. It is in your interest to complete the form as thoroughly as possible. You must provide a current contact address.
If you appeal using form IAFT-2, you or your representative (if you have one) must sign the form or it will be returned to you.
If you have documents supporting your grounds for appeal, you should send these with the form. These documents must be in English or accompanied by a certified translation. Use standard A4-sized paper only for your supporting documents, and do not use staples. Paperclips are acceptable.
Your form must be received no later than 28 calendar days after the date when you received your notice of decision.
What happens next?
You appeal will be accepted when the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (FTTIAC) receives your payment. The FTTIAC will then notify the visa office that refused your application, by sending them a notice of receipt.
An entry clearance manager (ECM) at the visa office will review our decision to refuse your application, in light of your appeal form and any supporting documents that you have sent. If the ECM is satisfied that your application meets the Immigration Rules, they may overturn our original decision and issue you with a visa or entry clearance.
If the ECM does not overturn the decision, an entry clearance officer (ECO) will write a statement explaining why the ECM has upheld the decision to refuse your application. We will send this and all your papers (known as 'the appeal bundle') to the FTTIAC. We will prepare and send your appeal bundle within:
- 20 working days for non-settlement and family visitor cases; or
- 90 working days for settlement cases.
These timings exclude postage times to and from the visa office.
The FTTIAC will:
- list your appeal for hearing;
- send copies of all the relevant papers (including the ECO's written statement) and supporting documents to us and to your representative or sponsor; and
- advise you of the date and time of your hearing. We have no control over when your appeal will be heard.
An immigration judge will hear your appeal in the UK. When considering your appeal, the judge will look at all the evidence provided by your representative and by the ECO. He or she will determine your appeal on the individual details of your case in line with the Immigration Rules.
The judge will inform the FTTIAC of his or her decision no more than 10 days after the hearing. The FTTIAC will then send that decision (known as a 'determination') to everyone involved.
If your appeal is successful
If the judge allows your appeal, his or her determination will be sent to the relevant visa section, which will in turn contact you.
It can take up to 4 weeks for determinations to reach the relevant visa section, and a further 8 weeks for them to be processed. The visa section will write to you using the contact details provided on your appeal form.
Please do not contact the visa section until 12 weeks after the date when you or your representative received the judge's decision. This date will be stated on your written determination.
Do not contact the FTTIAC or our immigration enquiry bureau about your appeal after you have received your allowed determination. They will not be able to issue you with a visa or deal with your enquiry.
Contact the First-tier Tribunal
To submit an appeal by post or fax, send it to:
First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
PO Box 6987
Fax: 044 0 116 249 4214
To find out about the progress of an appeal, or for more information about the appeals system, contact:
First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
PO Box 6987
Phone: 0044 0300 123 1711
Fax: 044 0 116 249 4192
If you have paid a fee for your appeal and are successful the Tribunal may make a fee award against the UK Border Agency up to the amount of the application fee that you paid; either £80.00 for a determination on the papers or £140.00 for an oral hearing.
Fee award payments are credited to the bank account or credit card that the payment was made from. If your account is no longer in use we will contact you for alternative bank account details. You will need to give us this information as soon possible to avoid a delay in payment.
We will process your payment as quickly as possible, but if you have not received your fee award after 60 days please email: email@example.com. You should quote your Home Office and appeal reference number and the date the fee award was made in the email subject. Please do not send any financial details to this email address.
Where can you get advice?
UK Border Agency staff are not able to give help or advice on how to complete your application, or what type of visa you should apply for.
If you need help with your application or advice about the UK's immigration law and requirements, you should seek advice from a qualified immigration adviser. This will ensure that your representative meets approved standards and is properly qualified to advise you.
In the UK, immigration advisers are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). If an adviser (or the organisation that the adviser belongs to) is regulated by the OISC, it should display the OISC logo. The OISC website contains:
- a list of regulated immigration advisers who do not charge for their advice or services; and
- a register of regulated immigration advisers who charge clients for their advice or services.
You can also obtain advice from legally qualified professionals regulated by designated professional bodies. A list of legally qualified professionals who can advise on immigration matters is available from:
- the Law Society of England and Wales
- the Law Society of Scotland
- the Law Society of Northern Ireland
- the Institute of Legal Executives
The Law Societies of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Institute of Legal Executives cannot provide direct help or advice on visa applications. They can only provide a list of law firms who can advise on immigration matters.
Can you get funding for your appeal?
You may be entitled to have your representative paid for by the Legal Services Commission's 'Community Legal Service' (CLS). To find out whether you qualify for this funding, contact:
Community Legal Service
Legal Services Commission
85 Gray's Inn Road
London WC1X 8TX
Phone: (+44) (0)845 608 1122
Please do not send your appeal to the Legal Services Commission. You should always send your appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber, or the visa section where your application was refused.