Family visa appeal rights changed

18 Jun 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Changes regarding the appeal rights of family visit visa applicants have been laid in parliament today (18 June).

The Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations 2012 set out who qualifies for a full right of appeal in the case of refusal for a UK visa to visit family. The regulations do not affect who qualifies for entry to the country through the visitor route and genuine visitors are still welcome.

What the changes will affect, however, is who has the right to appeal against a refusal. Those applying to visit their uncle, aunt, nephew, niece or first cousin, or a relative who does not have settled, refugee or humanitarian protection status in the UK will no longer have a full right of appeal.

Individuals facing human rights or race discrimination issues will maintain a limited right of appeal.

The move is designed to lower to cost of the immigration system to the British tax payer but as with most of the recent changes to the system there is some concern over whether or not migrants are being treated fairly.

The changes will come into force for new applicants from July 9th this year and will run alongside a number of other changes for family visa applicants, including a new minimum income threshold of £18,600 for sponsoring settlement in the UK of a non-EEA spouse or partner, and the extension of the minimum probationary period for settlement for these spouses from two years to five.