New family visit visa appeal regulations

The government laid the Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations 2012 in Parliament on 18 June 2012, which set out who qualifies for a full right of appeal against refusal of a visa to visit family in the UK.

These regulations will come into effect from 9 July 2012. No changes are being made to the rules governing who can qualify for entry to the UK as a visitor and genuine visitors are welcome.

These regulations will change the appeal rights of family visit visa applicants, for 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. They will no longer have a full right of appeal if refused. A limited right of appeal will remain for these people on human rights and race discrimination grounds.

As previously announced on 11 May 2012, the Crime and Courts Bill will, subject to Parliamentary approval, remove the full right of appeal against all family visit visa refusals. It is expected to come into force by 2014.