This is internal guidance for use by entry clearance staff on the handling of applications made outside the United Kingdom (UK) for visit and transit visas. It is a live document under constant review and is for information only.Entry Clearance Guidance - Recent updates
Immigration Rules for visitors: Paragraphs 40 and 41
The main points on which an ECO must be satisfied:
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Under the Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations 2003, a family visitor is defined as someone who intends to visit someone who is related to them in the following way:
C: VISIT- FAMILY VISIT LTE 6 months Code 3Back to top
The burden of proof is on the applicant to demonstrate that they, 1) have a qualifying family member in the UK and 2) intend to visit that family member.
If refused an applicant is entitled to a FRA if they demonstrate all of the following:
The ECO should assess all the information provided to determine whether the main purpose of the visit is to visit a qualifying family member. The relationship stated on the VAF and / or supporting documents should be accepted unless one of the following scenarios apply:
Where sponsorship documents have been submitted and the ECO has reason / grounds to doubt the relationship, a telephone call should be made to the sponsor in the UK and clarification sought. A DVR should be completed in all cases to justify the refusal and to support the ECOs decision to only refuse on a LRA.
Clear reasons should be provided on the refusal notice to why a FRA was not given. For example, "You have applied to visit xxxx but he / she does not qualify as a family member under the Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations 2003 because xxxx.”
All applicants must be served with individual refusal notices. However, a child visitor’s notice of refusal should be served on the parent or guardian. It is inappropriate to give a teenage child a notice of refusal that makes negative references to their parent’s circumstances or financial information. However, if the family group has provided one set of financial documents to support all the applications, it is appropriate to refer to these in each notice. Equally, when refusing other, non related groups, for example, a tour group, ECOs must take care to ensure that no applicant receives inappropriate information about another group member on their notice of refusal.
Sometimes members of the same family group who have been refused visit entry clearance will have different rights of appeal under The Immigration Appeals (Family Visitor) Regulations 2003. For example if the family (mother, father and 2 children) are visiting the mother’s aunt, the mother will have a full right of appeal but not the father or children, who as dependents of the main applicant will have only a limited right of appeal. The individual refusal notices must reflect the correct rights of appeal for each individual. However any appeal should reflect the fact that all applicants were refused and if the appeal of the main applicant is allowed then it follows that all should be issued entry clearance in line.