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Tier 4 Visa Rejections and Refusals

The information on this page is relevant to students who have received a Tier 4 visa rejection or refusal. If you have received a visa refusal for a short term student visa, then please see the relevant text on the short term student visa webpage.

There is a significant difference between a rejected (invalid) and a refused application.

A refused application

A refused application is a valid application which has been assessed by a casework but does not meet the Tier 4 requirements.

What might cause a visa refusal?

There are a number of reasons why your visa may be refused. Below are just a few examples:

  • Missing documents such as bank statements,
  • Submitting copies instead of original documents,
  • Failure to meet the strict Tier 4 rules, such as not maintaining the required funds in your account for 28 consecutive days

Will I still have valid immigration leave?

This will be dependant on a number of factors. Please get in touch with an immigration adviser for advice on your situation.

Will I receive a refund of my application fee?

You will not receive a refund for your visa application fee, but you will be refunded for any payments that you have made for your IHS.

I have received a visa refusal inside the UK, what shall I do?

Please complete a form telling us of your refusal. Please upload the refusal notice so we can advise you on what to do next. Please book an appointment to see an adviser as soon as you can. If you feel that the caseworker has made an error with the decision, then you may be eligible to apply for an administrative review of your application.

I have received my refusal notice, but my passport is not included

Sometimes the Home Office retain your passport to ensure that you leave the UK. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation please make an appointment to see an adviser as soon as possible. We will assist you with arrangements and ensure that you know what your obligations and options are.

I have received a visa refusal outside of the UK, what shall I do?

Please complete a form telling us of your refusal. Please upload the refusal notice so we can advise you on what to do next. We will be in touch with you by e-mail as within 3 working days. If you feel that the entry clearance officer has made an error when assessing your application, you may be able to submit an administrative review from overseas.

If you are in a position to request an administrative review we would strongly encourage you to do so. If the decision is overturned, you will not have a refusal on your immigration record. Any refusals must be declared and explained on all future visa applications for the UK and often for visa applications for other countries.

If, however, your refusal was a correct decision, then you should pay detailed attention to the refusal notice given to you which will tell you the reason(s) for refusal. If you are in a position to submit a new application with correct documentation then you should go ahead with this if you will be able to obtain your visa in time to travel to the UK. You will need a new CAS in order to make this application as your previous one will be 'used' and therefore no longer valid. Please refer to our flow chart(PDF Document) for details on the process of obtaining a new CAS. It will often be necessary to obtain new financial documents to comply with the strict timeframes.

If there is any flexibility in your course start date your CAS will detail your 'latest start date' which is the latest date you should arrive at the University to start your course. As long as your fresh visa application can be processed in time for you to travel to the UK for this date then you can go ahead with this. In some cases, such as research degrees, it may be possible to negotiate a later start date and you should contact admissions to discuss this.

Please note that the Immigration Service does not have any influence over the Home Office refusal decisions nor do we have any special contacts at Embassies to overturn or rush applications through. However, if you have received a refusal which is clearly in error and you have a named Entry Clearance Officer and their contact details please forward these to us along with your refusal notice.

A rejected (invalid) application

To make a valid application, you must meet all of the criteria below:

  • Use the correct form with all mandatory sections completed
  • include the correct fee
  • include photos in the correct format
  • include a passport or travel document
  • include a BRP (Biometric Residence Permit) where one has been issued (cards are only currently issued when the visa application is made in the UK)
  • attend a biometrics appointment being booked and attended by the applicant (in the UK and other countries where biometrics are captured)

Where an application is deemed invalid it will be returned unprocessed. The fee will not have been taken, or it will be refunded if paid by credit/debit card. It will be as if an application had never been made and, if your visa has already expired, this has serious implications for your immigration status and record.

If you are in the UK you should book an appointment to see an adviser for specific advice on your options. You may not be able to remain in the UK to submit a new application.

If you are not in the UK the immigration implications are not as serious. However, a delay to obtaining an appropriate visa to start a new course or return to your current course could have a significant impact on whether you are permitted to resume your studies or start your new course. If you do not act quickly you may need to defer or temporarily withdraw in order to meet Warwick's strict attendance requirements in compliance with the UK Visas & Immigration (Home Office) rules. You will need to resubmit your application as quickly as you can, ensuring that your CAS is still valid and that any financial documents meet the strict date requirements for your new application date.

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