Harper: Family visit visa reform to save £107 million

Immigration Minister Mark Harper has said that changes to the family visit visa route will save taxpayers more than £100 million over the next decade and speed up the system for genuine applicants.

From July, the family visit visa will no longer retain the full right of appeal, bringing the route into line with all other visit visa categories.

Home Office said that previously, the system was being clogged up by a large number of appeals, many of which were being used by applicants as a means to provide further information instead of making a fresh application.

“This change is part of our ongoing work to streamline the immigration process. The system we inherited was chaotic and our reforms have already seen net migration drop by almost a third,” Mr. Harper said. “Removing the right of appeal in these cases will prevent unnecessary delays, save £107 million over the next decade and allow officials to focus on more complex cases, such as asylum claims and foreign criminal deportations.”

Under the new rules, families may apply as many times as they wish and can provide additional information in support of their application.

A decision will also be received much more quickly through this method – typically 15 days in comparison to the appeal route, which can take up to eight months.

The changes, part of the Crime and Courts Act which received royal assent on 25th April, 2013, will not apply to appeals made on human rights or race discrimination grounds.

New UK Visa Application Centre opens in Bali, Indonesia

Guide on fruit, vegetable and plant products you can bring into UK