Damian Green says the appeals process is clogged up by applicants who have simply not completed their UK visa application properly.
14 May 2012
Right of appeal removed from UK visa rejections
Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced that the right of appeal will be removed from foreign nationals who have been rejected for a UK visa.
Mr Green said that the appeal process was costly and often lengthy when in many cases, a UK visa application had simply been rejected because of a poorly completed application.
"It is grossly unfair that UK taxpayers have had to foot the huge bill for foreign nationals who, in many cases, have simply failed to provide the correct evidence to support their application," said Mr Green.
The decision comes after the rate of appeals, and their resultant costs, have risen dramatically since 2000 when the right of appeal was added to the family visa route. Over 50,000 appeals were lodged last year, accounting for almost 40% of all UK immigration appeals and costing almost £30 million a year.
Mr Green says the changes will allow the appeals process to be freed up to hear more severe cases such as asylum claims and the deportation of foreign criminals.
"These changes will save tens of millions of pounds and free up immigration tribunals to carry out the much more important work they were intended for."
Concerns have been raised that the changes would prevent some from making genuine appeals yet Mr Green stated that refused applicants would still be able to appeal refusals on human rights or race discrimination grounds.
Rejected applicants will be informed of their rejection and advised to reapply rather than appeal their decision. The Home Office has said a decision on a second application can be received within two weeks, as opposed to an appeal process which can take as long as 18 months.
The proposed changes aren't expected to take effect until 2014, when the proposals have been reviewed by parliament yet interim measures will be put in place which will limit the full right of appeal to those who are visiting a close family member.
"We are not stopping anybody from visiting family in the UK; if an applicant meets the rules they will be granted a visa," said Mr Green.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.