Immigration Administrative Review Guidance & Representation

Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors is a top-tier immigration law firm that has over four decades of experience guiding and representing clients to navigate complex immigration issues like immigration administrative reviews.

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Immigration Administrative Review: Tips, Requirements, and Process

If you have received a decision from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) which you believe is incorrect due to a mistake made by one of their case workers, you may be able to ask for an administrative review. Administrative review is one way to ask UKVI (a department of the UK Home Office) to reconsider an immigration application decision, in addition to appealing, reapplying, and requesting a judicial review. In this article, we will discuss when an administrative review may be considered, the application process, and how you will benefit from section 3C leave while waiting for an administrative review decision.

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What is an Immigration Administrative Review in the UK?

By requesting an immigration administrative review, an immigration applicant (e.g. a work visa applicant) can formally raise a suspected case of work error with UKVI. During an administrative review, UKVI will review whether a mistake was made and if so, may correct the decision. The person reviewing the case will always be different to the original UKVI decision-maker.

It is important to understand that not all application decisions are eligible for an administrative review. Likewise, not all casework errors can be raised for administrative review.

What are the Advantages of an Immigration Administrative Review?

The advantages of the Immigration Administrative Review process in the UK include cost-effectiveness, as it typically costs less than reapplying for a visa. Additionally, an Administrative Review allows individuals to challenge a decision made by the UKVI without having to go through the full appeals process. Furthermore, applicants may be eligible for a fee waiver if they did not have to pay for the original application or if the fee was waived due to exceptional circumstances. Additionally, it allows for pinpointing errors made by immigration officials in the initial decision-making process and therefore increases the chances of success.

What Is the Main Difference Between an Administrative Review and an Immigration Appeal?

Both administrative reviews and immigration appeals are ways to challenge decisions made by the Home Office regarding visas and immigration. However, the right to appeal or apply for an administrative review depends on the specific decision being challenged. An immigration appeal is a review of a decision by the Home Office and, if they maintain their decision, it goes to a hearing before an independent judge. An administrative review is an internal review process by the Home Office, where a team independent from the original decision-making team reviews the case in paper form without an oral hearing and with limited opportunities to submit new evidence. The main difference is that an immigration appeal is a full reconsideration of the case by the Immigration Tribunal, while an administrative review is limited to determining if there was a case working error in the original decision.

Can I Request an Administrative Review?

Your UKVI decision letter will tell you if you have the right to request an administrative review. To request an administrative review, you must have received an “eligible decision”; this is determined by whether the decision was made within the UK (in-country), outside the UK, or at the border. Applications that are typically eligible for an immigration administrative review include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Dependant visas
  • Visa application mistakes
  • EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Application Refusal
  • Global Talent visas
  • Points based system dependent applications;
  • Start-up and Innovator visas
  • Overseas Business visa extensions
  • Student, child student, and parent of a child student applications;
  • Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 5, Skilled Worker visas, Health & Care worker visas, Sportsperson visas, Minister of Religion visas
  • UK Ancestry visas

Applications that are not eligible include:

  • Appendix EU (Family Permit)
  • Human rights claims
  • Leave to remain outside the Immigration Rules (LOTR)
  • No time limit (NTL)
  • PBS routes before administrative review commenced
  • Protection claims
  • Transfer of conditions (TOC)
  • Visitor

The administrative review guidance also states that only certain case worker errors can be raised. The list of these is long but includes errors such as:

  • Refusal of entry on the grounds of providing false information when the information provided was correct
  • Refusal on the grounds that an application was made outside the required time limit when it was actually made in time, or
  • Where the caseworker incorrectly worked out the total continuous residence period.

How to Apply for an Immigration Administrative Review

If you have received a UKVI decision letter explaining that you have the right to request an administrative review, it will explain how and when you do so. The process of requesting an administrative review is as follows:

  1. Complete the online administrative review application form – this must be done within 28 days if you are outside the UK or 14 days if you are in the UK.
  2. Pay the administrative review application fee of £80.
  3. Submit any evidence to support the administrative review – the application form you complete will explain whether you can provide new evidence to be reviewed by UKVI – this must be submitted to UKVI within 10 days of your administrative review application being submitted.

It is always advisable to engage with an immigration solicitor who can complete this process on your behalf. They understand the process and the forms of evidence that UKVI will accept to have your decision changed in your favour. 

At present, the administrative review process can take up to 6 months to complete or longer. 

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Section 3C Leave While Your Administrative Review Decision is Pending

We are often asked whether it is possible to stay in the UK while waiting for an administrative review decision. The answer is ‘yes’ if you have section 3C leave. When section 3C leave is granted, you will not be treated as an overstayer while you wait for a decision, and you can remain on the same conditions as your most recent visa (i.e. you can carry on working if you last held a work visa).

If you originally submitted your valid visa application to UKVI in time (i.e. before your visa expired), then you would have been granted section 3C leave. As long as you had section 3C leave when you applied for your visa, you will also have section 3C leave while you wait for a decision on your administrative review.

How to Prepare for an Immigration Administrative Review?

Preparation is key when it comes to Immigration Administrative Reviews. To prepare effectively, here are some important steps to follow:

Speak with an immigration lawyer: Such a process can sometimes be tricky. Therefore, instructing an immigration administrative review solicitor will be able to provide you with valuable guidance and help you prepare for your Immigration Administrative Review. They can review your case, advise you on the best strategy, and help you get any necessary documents together that you may need.

Gather all the relevant documents for your case: This includes any immigration-related documents, such as your passport, visa, or permanent residency card. You should also gather other relevant documents, such as evidence of your ties to your home country or your eligibility to remain in the country.

Prepare your case: Before your Immigration Administrative Review, take the time to prepare your case on your own or with your immigration lawyer. This includes making sure all the information is accurate on your side and also reviewing all relevant documents and evidence, and developing a clear and concise argument that demonstrates your eligibility to remain in the country. 

What Happens if My Immigration Administrative Review is Refused?

If your Administrative Review is refused, there are several possible outcomes as outlined in the Immigration Rules, Appendix AR, para AR2.2. These include:

  • The decision being withdrawn
  • The decision remains in force but with reasons withdrawn
  • The decision remains in force but now with different or additional reasons
  • The decision remains in force with no change to the reasons given

If UKVI does not give you an opportunity to enter after an Administrative Review, it is still possible to make a challenge to the decision. If this has happened to you then it would be a good moment to seek assistance from an immigration lawyer or firm that specialises in UK immigration. By doing so, they can help you explore options such as making a new application, appealing on human rights grounds, or pursuing the path of a Judicial Review of the decision if you meet the grounds and requirements.

Final Words

Applying for an administrative review really only makes sense if a genuine and permitted error can be evidenced. If this is not the case, then it may be prudent to look at your other immigration options, such as reapplying for the same type of visa, applying through a different immigration route, appealing, or requesting a judicial review. Regardless of your circumstances, be assured that with the right advice and guidance, you may have immigration options available to you that you had not previously considered.

Gulbenkian Andonian specialises in complex immigration matters such as immigration administrative reviews and urgent immigration applications and appeals cases. Our immigration appeal Solicitors have successfully assisted many individuals and their family members in overcoming overwhelming odds to remain in the UK; let us do the same for you. Call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 or fill out the form below to discuss your matter with one of our friendly and empathetic team. 

FAQs about Immigration Administrative Reviews

Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors has a team of experienced immigration lawyers who are well-versed in the Administrative Review process and have a proven track record of success in challenging Home Office decisions.

We handle a wide range of immigration cases including Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4, Tier 5, Family, EEA, Settlement, British Citizenship and more. How can Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors help me increase my chances of success in an administrative review? Our lawyers will thoroughly review your case and identify any errors made by the Home Office in the initial decision-making process. We will also provide a detailed and persuasive submission to the Home Office outlining why the decision should be withdrawn.

This can vary as the process depends on the workload of the Home Office at this present moment in time. However, if you choose to work with us, we will do our very best to push the process through as fast as possible and also keep you informed of any updates and progress throughout it.

If your immigration administrative review is successful, it means that the decision of the immigration authorities regarding your immigration application has been overturned or modified in your favour. This may happen if the UKVI or Home Office made an error in their decision-making process or if new evidence has been presented that was not previously considered.

Yes, we absolutely can help you if your Administrative Review is refused and we will seek to advise you on the best possible next steps you should take. This includes starting to make a new application or an appeal on human rights grounds where applicable or seeking a Judicial Review of the decision.

This depends on the complexity of your case. To discuss this in more detail please do not hesitate to contact us to outline the specific details regarding your matter.

No, you can not. The Home Office will honour that your review is processed and you will be able to remain in the UK until a decision has been finalised.

Typically, the decision on your Administrative Review will be provided by UKVI within 28 days of your request but this can also take months. In the event that the decision is not in your favour, it is important to note that a second review is not typically an option (unless new reasons for refusal were included in the initial decision). Our team at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors will work with you to identify the best course of action moving forward, providing you with clear and practical guidance.

Our Immigration Administrative Review Solicitors in London are here to assist you.