Ministers announce family visit visa appeal rights to be scrapped

Last week the Immigration Minister Damian Green made the first of a number of anticipated announcements regarding reform of the family migration route in the UK. He confirmed that foreign nationals who are refused a visa for a short visit to see family members in the UK will lose the full right to appeal the decision in the courts. This means that, in the future, the vast majority of failed applicants will have to re-apply rather than be able to appeal the decision.
The change is included in the Crime and Courts Bill, which will be published on Friday 11 May 2012. Subject to Parliamentary approval and Royal Assent, it is expected to come into force by 2014. In the meantime, interim measures will ensure that the full right of appeal will be limited to those applying to visit a close family member. Secondary legislation is expected to be laid before Parliament next month (June 2012) which, subject to Parliamentary approval, will mean that from July 2012 those applying to visit a cousin, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew will no longer have a full right of appeal.