Foreign nationals refused a UK visa for a short visit to see family members in the UK will lose the full right to appeal the decision in the courts, the department of immigration has announced.
The step is a necessary one and will save tens of millions of pounds and free up tribunals to deal with more serious cases said immigration Minister Damian Green. In future the vast majority of failed applicants will have to re-apply, rather than launching a lengthy, taxpayer subsidized appeal.
‘We are not stopping anybody visiting family in the UK. If an applicant meets the rules they will be granted a visa. However, 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,’ explained Green.‘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,’ he added.
The number of appeals has soared since 2000, when full appeal rights were re-introduced for family visit visas. It was expected that there would be a maximum of 20,000 appeals per year but by 2010/11, the number had risen to almost 50,000.