The UK Spouse Visa Refusal Appeal Process

At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we often represent and advise clients through the spouse visa appeal process for this particular visa route which can be utilised when a spouse visa has been refused as a result of an out of country application through a British diplomatic mission, or an individual has been refused as a result of an in country application to the Home office. However, there are differences as to time limits for appeals and the presentation of evidence depending on whether the application was made abroad or in the UK. 

Why do Spouse Visa applications fail?

Most UK Spouse Visa applications fail for one or more of the following reasons.

  • The applicant failed the English language requirement test
  • The applicant applied for the wrong type of visa
  • Documents for the application were organised and presented incorrectly or incomplete
  • The applicant failed to show that he/she was in a genuine relationship
  • The applicant was not honest about past criminal convictions haven’t disclosed convictions
  • The couple in question did not follow the correct legal advice
  • Failing to meet the financial requirements. In a recent update, the UK government increased this requirement from £18,600 to £29,000 as of April 11th 2024, and will further escalate to £38,700 by the beginning of 2025. For the latest information regarding family visa financial requirements, kindly refer to our dedicated page or contact our team.

What should you do if your UK Spouse visa has been refused?

In many cases, it may actually be more suitable for an applicant to submit a new application rather than exercise their right to an appeal, but we would advise that you reach out to us first before you make such a decision for confirmation that this is, in fact, the right path for you. 

We can help you make a new application and make sure that it is up to the standard of the Home Office. However, if it turns out that making an appeal is the right way to go for you, then it is very likely that such an appeal will be based on exercising your rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). 

What is Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)?

Article 8 outlines an individual’s right to respect for their private and family life, their home and their correspondence. Public authorities can not interfere when an individual chooses to exercise this right unless it is a matter of national security for wellbeing or economy of the country; in this case, the UK. 

With nearly four decades of experience handling such appeals and very high success rates, our immigration lawyers London will be able to assess your case consult and represent you throughout this process, to see whether:

  • Your rights under Article 8 have been impacted by the UKVI decision in regard to your UK Spouse Visa
  • The refusal of your Spouse Visa application has impacted your right to private and family life 

The UK Spouse Visa Refusal Appeal Process – How does it work?

For applications from those who are outside of the UK, the immigration rules for the spouse visa appeal process state that the applicant has 28 days to lodge an appeal to the first tier tribunal immigration and asylum chamber in the UK. On the hearing of the appeal, the foreign spouse who has been refused may not be able to attend the hearing of their appeal, (either due to practical, logistical reasons or due to the costs of organising that evidence is given remotely). This leaves the UK resident spouse to attend and provide oral evidence together with any other witnesses that are available to participate in and provide evidence in support of the appeal, for example, to provide oral evidence that the relationship is genuine and entered into for love and affection and not predominately for immigration purposes.

There will be much documentary evidence needed as well, such as witness statements from those giving evidence, but the foreign spouse who has been refused may only be able to provide written evidence through a witness statement in their own appeal. So the tribunal will only have their witness statement as the only evidence tendered unless of course, the foreign spouse is in the UK in any event, say as a visitor ( having received say a five-year multiple entry visit visa), or unless this individual is lucky enough to have made a successful human rights application to attend the hearing of their appeal.

There is also the possibility of giving evidence from abroad by video link, and this has been made somewhat easier and has become routine as a result of the Covid pandemic since March 23rd 2020 after which the asylum and immigration tribunal in conjunction with other tribunals and the higher courts developed online appeal platforms to which parties that may be dispersed all over the world can be linked up to the online platform (Cloud vidéo Platform used by the immigration and asylum tribunal) and give evidence remotely.

However there will still be matters of the time difference, instructing lawyers from the UK who can comply with those time differences, problems of making sure all parties to include interpreters have logged on, and there may also be difficulties in the system freezing and some evidence being missed, obliging the judge sitting either in court in the UK or at their office at home, requesting the appellant’s legal representative sitting either in their London chambers or in the offices of their instructing solicitors, for example, to repeat the evidence given. Giving evidence from abroad online could also lead to the contamination of evidence as the judge does not have control of the proceedings in the same way as they might have when there is an in-county face go face appeal.

If the refusal is as a result of an in-country application to the Home office, then the immigration rules for the spouse visa appeal process state that there are 14 days to appeal the decision to the asylum and immigration tribunal, and there is a good chance that the appeal can be heard face to face as opposed to being online, or if it has been fixed to be heard online, there is no reason why the appellant cannot request the appeal to be heard face to face at a Case Management hearing (CMR) in the interest of their appeal.

If the appeal is filed from abroad and the appellant is abroad, until the result of the appeal is to hand, and the appellant succeeds in the appeal, that individual will not be able to come to the UK to join their spouse or partner, whereas if the appeal is filed from the UK following an in-country refusal, the appellant would be here, and able to enjoy family life with their spouse or partner pending the result of the appeal hearing, which goes to show, ‘ possession is nine-tenths of the law.’ 

Apply for your Spouse Visa Today

As stated above, you can apply for a Spouse visa from inside of the UK, or you can make your application from outside of the UK at a British embassy or consulate abroad. If your application is successful, you can gain entry clearance into the UK and work here on this visa and eventually apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (Permanent Residence) usually after a period of 5 years. Our team of expert immigration lawyers are here to help guide you through the process to make sure that your application is complete and successful. Click the link below to learn more about the UK Spouse Visa application process or call us or fill out the form below to speak with one of our UK immigration experts directly about your case. 

Ask our Expert Legal Team

At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

Call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 or fill out the form below. We usually reply within a few hours.

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