The Home Office is removing the full right of appeal for applicants who have been refused leave to enter the UK as a family visitor. The change is expected to come into force on or soon after 25 June 2013. The new appeal arrangements will apply to anybody who applies to enter the UK to visit a family member on or after the implementation date.

On 25 April 2013 Royal Assent was given to a clause in the Crime and Courts Bill, published on 10 May 2012, which will allow the change to come into force. By removing the right of appeal, the Home Office states that it is bringing the family visitor visa in line with all other visitor visa categories.

The Home Office statement continues: "Applicants who are refused can re-apply addressing the reasons for refusal instead of appealing. This will be quicker and cost less than an appeal. In 2011-2012, 95% of applications were decided within 15 days, whereas the appeal system can take up to eight months to deliver a result."

The removal of appeal rights has been criticised as a straightforward removal of a remedy which is currently available to family visa applicants when they encounter poor decision-making on the part of Home Office officials in embassies, consulates and high commissions overseas.

The immigration team at Penningtons has substantive experience advising on all aspects of visitor visas including where applicants have encountered previous refusals.

For full details of the changes, please click here.