For many, a key step in deciding to visit or move to the UK is to obtain a visa. Unfortunately however, people frequently fail in this quest. Being a knowledgeable and experienced UK immigration solicitor, I have good knowledge of the most common errors that many people make when filing their visa application with the UK immigration authority (UKBA), especially when they decide not to choose reliable assistance.
These are most common mistakes made by applicants:
10: Provision of Misleading or Inconsistent Answers
Applicants must be truthful and consistent in their answering of all the relevant visa questions. There are some whom deliberately provide false and misleading answers, but more frequently, people make honest mistakes: an applicant for example omits to mention a failed visa application from 5 years ago, assuming it would be irrelevant. Applicants must realise that provision of incorrect information – whether deliberate or mistakenly – is very likely to result in a failed application and, more seriously, it could also potentially have an adverse effect on their future applications. If you instruct a UK Immigration Adviser, we can correctly guide you through the application questions to avoid such problems.
9: Non-provision of Mandatory Supporting Documents
Your visa application is merited on the documents that you include in support. Immigration rules can be very strict: failure to provide the correct specified document could result in major administrative delays or even refusal of an application. Instructing a knowledgeable, good Human Rights Solicitor / Immigration lawyer in the UK who has knowledge of the precise requirements in this regard often proves imperative.
8: Provision of Unnecessary Additional Information
An assumption that the provision of additional information to the UK Immigration department always works in one’s favour is erroneous indeed. Unnecessarily ‘Bulking up’ the application can also result in delayed decision making and more importantly; in certain circumstances, it may trigger additional related questions and you may find that your answer does not work in your favour at all! If in doubt please run your application via a good UK immigration lawyer whom will explain to you precisely what is and what is not required to be disclosed in order to improve your chances.
7: Not carrying the Appropriate Fee or Not Making the Right Form of Payment
Many people do not realise that UKBA visa fees are subject to much change. Some unfortunately fail to either provide the right amount of fees (particularly in cases involving additional dependents), or they fail to make the right form of payment: more and more visa application centers, for example, no longer accept cash payments. A lack of awareness of such facts could potentially mean you would lose your appointment, causing you unnecessary stress and disappointment. You should refer to the appropriate sources for the correct information regarding fees, or even better: hire an immigration adviser to act for you so that he will correctly guide you through any of such issues.
6: Invalid Application: Submission of an Outdated or Incorrect Application Form
This may be the most common cause for a visa being refused. There are countless UK immigration application forms for the different categories of visa. An example of a common error is people using form FLR(M) instead of FLR(O) when making an application as a spouse relying on Human Rights outside the rules. Additionally, UK immigration application forms are subject to frequent change, sometimes up to 3 or 4 times per year. You must apply using the most recent application form when making a visa application. If you don’t, then expect your application to be returned and more often than not the fee not reimbursed. This is one of the main reason people inadvertently overstay their leave as by the time they return the application the person would have become an Illegal immigrant having overstayed since the last leave expired.
5: Bad Timing: Out of Time Applications
Some people unfortunately are not aware of the serious consequences of applying for a visa after their most recent leave has already expired. The points based system, for example, specifically requires applicants to have had existing leave when having made their new visa application. Most significantly, making an out of time application results in a loss of appeal rights all together, should your application fail. Don’t risk having to return to your home country to apply for new entry clearance (or even being banned from making any further application!) merely because you became an over-stayer in the UK.
Many people wrongly assume UK immigration law is straightforward enough to be done by a layperson. On the contrary, visa applications can be complex and lengthy and it is therefore imperative for applicants to certainly not under-estimate the process by just “googling” the relevant rules and procedures themselves. Although the Internet is indeed the place to find much useful and correct information, there are also countless immigration “forums” on which much erroneous material is unfortunately passed around. This adds more complexity to an individual’s case and people can end up seriously confusing themselves. You may be surprised how many ‘straightforward’ UK visa applications get rejected daily! There is more to most of the UK immigration rules than what is published online, you need to have a good insight to the ever-changing UK Immigration Rules, recent tribunals, high court and European Court decisions, all of which affect your visa application outcome.
3: Over-defensiveness: Unnecessary Distrust in the System
Just as there are people who seem to be too confident in their understanding of immigration law, on the opposite end of the spectrum there are also those who become extremely paranoid and pessimistic about the application processes as a whole. Often this is because they may have heard visa failure stories from other people around them. This is honestly unnecessary especially if you have engaged a good expert Immigration Adviser in the UK or a Human Rights Solicitor to act on your behalf: they will know the process inside and out.
2: Not Having an Objective Analysis of Their Application
Tying in with our 4th point, some applicants shoot themselves in the foot by deciding not to have a third party objectively analyse their case, resulting in the making of critical errors that weakens their UK immigration application. You may find that instructing a third party from the outset – ideally an experienced and qualified immigration lawyer – will result in a much smoother and hassle free process, costing you less money in the long-run.
1: Price over Quality
You may have already guessed it, but just in case you didn’t: the most common mistake people make is not to instruct a qualified and knowledgeable UK immigration solicitor to help them avoid all the above blunders. Unfortunately, however, a growing number of applicants who do decide to seek assistance, may find themselves dealing with fraudsters claiming to be ‘experts’ or ‘agents’ in UK immigration law, when in truth they have no authority to represent you in your matter. Additionally, there are also a large number of under-qualified “immigration lawyers” whom although sometimes charge lower fees, often do not have the same depth of knowledge in immigration as some of the best UK Immigration Lawyers or Human Rights Solicitor.