Guidance – Appeals (INF 19)

Denied a UK visa?

What is this guidance about?
This guidance explains who has the right of appeal if their visa or other entry clearance for the United Kingdom (UK) has been refused, and how to make such an appeal.

Who can appeal?
For some types of application, there is a right of appeal when a visa is refused. These are the most common.

  • Family visit – if you are visiting close family members in the UK
  • Children and dependent relatives – to settle in the UK
  • Husband, wife, fiancé or fiancée – to settle in the UK
  • Student – to study for more than six months in the UK
  • Working holidaymaker – to look for or take work as part of a working holiday in the UK
  • Au pair – to live and work part-time for pocket money, with a family in the UK
  • Work permit holder – to work full-time in the UK
  • Minister of religion – to work full-time in the UK in a religious capacity

If we refuse your visa application and you want to spend more than six months in the UK, you may also have the right of appeal. The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) will tell you if you have a right of appeal and give you the appeal forms you need.
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How do I make an appeal?
If you have the right of appeal, the ECO will give you three documents.

  • The written Notice of Refusal (this tells you why the ECO has refused your visa).
  • The Notice of Appeal form AIT2 (you must fill this in to explain why you think the ECO was wrong to refuse you a visa).
  • A leaflet explaining how to fill in the Notice of Appeal form.

You can lodge your appeal directly with the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) in the UK or you can send your appeal form to the overseas visa section where your visa was refused. The visa section will then forward it to the AIT in the UK. You cannot do both.

You must send a copy of your Notice of Refusal with your Notice of Appeal form.
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Is there a time limit?
Yes. You must fill in and return the Notice of Appeal to the AIT or the British mission overseas where your visa was refused no later than 28 days after you receive the Notice of Refusal.
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How much does it cost?
There is no charge for appealing against your visa being refused.
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Who decides the outcome of an appeal?
Appeals are heard in the UK by an Immigration Judge.
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What happens when an appeal is lodged?
When the AIT has lodged your appeal they will send a Notice of Receipt to the British mission overseas where you applied. You should enclose all additional supporting documentation with your appeal. When the visa section receives the Notice of Receipt, the Entry Clearance Manager (ECM) will review your application again, taking into account any further comments and supporting documents you have included in the Notice of Appeal. If the ECM is satisfied that your application meets the Immigration Rules, the original decision may be overturned, and entry clearance issued.

If the ECM does not overturn the decision, an ECO will write a statement to explain in greater detail the reasons for refusing your visa. This will be sent with all your papers (the appeal bundle) to the AIT.

When the visa section receives the Notice of Receipt, they will prepare and send the appeal papers to the AIT within 20 working days for non-settlement cases and family visit cases. For settlement cases, they will prepare and send the papers within 60 working days.

PDF Appeals – Family visit visas lodged at post (PDF, 25K)
PDF Appeals – Family visit visas lodged in the UK (PDF, 25K)
PDF Non-Settlement appeals lodged at post (PDF, 25K)
PDF Non-Settlement appeals lodged in the UK (PDF, 25K)
PDF Settlement appeals lodged in the UK (PDF, 25K)
PDF Settlement appeals lodged at post (PDF, 25K)

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What does the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) do?
The AIT will list your appeal for hearing and send copies of all the relevant papers, including the ECO’s written statement, and supporting documents to the Home Office and to your representative or sponsor.

An Immigration Judge will hear your appeal in the UK. When considering an appeal, the Immigration Judge will look at all the evidence sent in by your representative, as well as by the Home Office. The judge will decide your appeal on the individual details of your case and in line with the Immigration Rules.

The Immigration Judge has 10 days after the hearing to inform the AIT of his or her decision. The AIT will then forward that decision to everyone involved.

If your appeal is allowed, the British mission will expect to receive their copy of the judge’s decision within six weeks. Please do not contact the Embassy or High Commission before that time.
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How to contact the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT)
If you want to find out about the progress of an appeal, or for more information about the appeals system, you can contact the AIT as follows.

How to Apply Asylum and Immigration Tribunal

Arnhem Support Centre
PO Box 6987
Leicester LE1 6ZX
United Kingdom Tel: (+44) (0)845 600 0877
Fax: (+44) (0)116 249 4130
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Where to get independent advice
You can contact the Immigration Advisory Service (IAS) for advice and help with an appeal. The IAS is a voluntary organisation independent of government, and can provide confidential advice for you and your representatives.

The IAS can help you to decide whether or not to make an appeal. It can also represent you at an appeal hearing.

How to apply Immigration Advisory Service

3rd Floor, County House
190 Great Dover Street
London SE1 4YB Telephone: (+44) (0)20 7967 1200
Duty office (open 24 hours a day): (+44) (0)20 8814 1559
Fax: (+44) (0)20 7403 5875

The IAS also has offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, Gatwick Airport, Glasgow, Harmondsworth, Heathrow Airport, Leeds and Manchester.

You may be entitled to have your representative paid for by the Legal Services Commission’s ‘Community Legal Service’ (CLS).

To find out if you qualify for this funding, contact:

How to apply Community Legal Service

Legal Services Commission
85 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8TX Tel: (+44) (0)845 608 1122


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