UK Visit Visas


Home Office reconsiders a UK visit visa refusal and grants the father of Sabir Zazai a visa so he can see his son receive a doctorate


The Home Office has been in the news again and sadly for all the wrong reasons. The best London immigration solicitors say that the latest Home Office news shows that if you or a family member are refused a visit visa then it is worth renewing your application for a UK visit visa.

The Home Office initially refused a visit visa to enable the father of Sabir Zazai to come to the UK. In refusing the application for the visit visa, the Home Office perhaps initially did not realise how newsworthy the refusal decision would be. After all, visit visa applications are rejected regularly without the media reporting on the decision or the refusal leading to a public fuss.
You may question what was so special about the father of Sabir Zazai that the decision to refuse him a UK visit visa led to questions being raised in parliament. Sabir Zazai is the chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council and the 2019 winner of the Lord Provost’s award for human rights
Any child, whatever their age and status, wants their family and particularly their parents, to share special occasions and honours. Most parents would be insistent that they wanted to attend an award ceremony to see their son receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow for services to civil society.
However, whilst parents in the UK would think nothing of attending the doctorate ceremony, for the father of Sabir Zazai the desire to attend the public celebration of his son’s achievements in the UK was the start of a battle with the Home Office over the visit visa application. Why? Well, the best London immigration solicitors say the refusal stemmed from the fact that the Home Office said it did not believe the 79-year-old father of Sabir Zazai would leave the UK if he were granted a visit visa.
The Home Office decision has led to the Top London immigration solicitors being asked whether there is a “cut off” age for visit visa applicants. The short answer is that the Immigration Rules do not say that applicants for UK visit visas must be under a certain age. If there were an age policy then that would prompt claims of age discrimination. In the case of Sabir Zazai’s father, his age and home country of Afghanistan conspired against him, resulting in the UK visit visa refusal.
The Home Office has reportedly declined to comment to the press on the reasons for the visit visa refusal and the rationale behind the change of decision to grant the UK visit visa without Sabir Zazai’s father having to submit a fresh application for a UK visit visa.
Sabir Zazai has said that the UK visit visa decision by the Home Office on his father’s application was not just about him and his family and he has referred to the many other people who are told that family members cannot come to see them in the UK because of a UK visit visa refusal. 
The Top London immigration solicitors are consulted frequently over UK visit visa applications and refusals. You may think that a visit visa should be a straightforward application but in many cases, it is not. What’s more, many people need a UK visit visa in order to see loved ones or to attend special family celebrations and special life events. That type of UK visit visa rejection is far more upsetting than the rejection of a visit visa application for the purposes of a tourism visit but sadly more common.

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration law matters.  The Legal 500 recommend OTS Solicitors for Immigration law.
For advice on applying for a UK visit visa or resubmitting an application for a visit visa or any other aspect of Immigration law please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors.

The UK visit visa

The best London immigration solicitors say that whatever the reasons for your planned trip to the UK it is essential that time is taken on the visit visa application.
It is all too easy to think that a UK visit visa application is a bit of form filling and that the application will be processed and a visit visa granted whatever is put on the form. That is not the case and Top London immigration solicitors say that a UK visit visa application and the form filling should be treated just as seriously as any other type of visa application and with the same diligence when providing supporting information and paperwork. 
The UK standard visitor visa (also referred to as the UK visit visa) has to be applied for   if you are a non-EEA national and you want to visit the UK for the purposes of:
• Leisure;
• Tourism;
• To visit family and friends. 

The UK visit visa length 

The best London immigration solicitors advise that the maximum length of the UK visit visa is six months. 
If a visitor needs to travel frequently to the UK then there is the option of applying for a long-term standard visit visa. 

The UK visit visa and the genuine visitor test

The Top London immigration solicitors say that Home Office caseworkers often refuse applications for UK visit visas because the officials are not satisfied that the applicant for the UK visit visa is a “genuine visitor”. This can be extremely frustrating for a tourist who plans to come to the UK for tourism and leisure but does not have hotel accommodation booked or a planned itinerary.
A Home Office official decides whether a UK visit visa applicant is a “genuine visitor” by considering a variety of factors set out in the Home Office Immigration Rules and UK visit visa guidelines including assessing whether:
• The applicant will only be undertaking what are referred to as “permitted activities” during their stay in the UK ;
• The applicant will leave the UK at the end of their UK visit visa;
• The applicant will not be use the UK visit visa as a means to try to come to live in the UK on a permanent basis in breach of UK Immigration Rules;
• The applicant has enough money for the duration of their visit and either has accommodation or the means to pay for it.

Questions on the “genuine visitor” test for the UK visit visa  

Most visitors to the UK are a bit surprised to learn that in order to obtain a UK visit visa they will have to prove that they are a “genuine visitor”. After all, how do you prove your future intentions and plans? The job of the Home Office caseworker is to assess the UK visit visa applicant and their:
• Personal circumstances;
• Travel and Immigration history;
• Genuine intentions to visit;
• Credibility.
The Top London immigration solicitors say that if an applicant for a UK visit visa has visited the UK on a large number of occasions or if there is political or economic unrest in their country of origin particular care needs to be taken when preparing the UK visit visa application.
That is because when a Home Office caseworker looks at a UK visit visa application they will consider the applicant’s:
Immigration record;
• The history of earlier visits to the UK (if any);
• Personal and economic ties to their country of origin and/or residence;
• The economic and conflict situation in the country of origin and/or residence. 
The best London immigration solicitors  say that if an applicant for a UK visit visa raises “red flags” either because of his or her age and personal circumstances or previous Immigration history it is vital that expert legal advice is taken on the UK visit visa application to avoid the application being refused. Often, with expert help combined with diligent paperwork and explanatory information the Home Office will grant a UK visit visa application.  

How can OTS Solicitors help?

OTS Solicitors are specialists in Immigration law. The central London based Immigration law solicitors are recommended for Immigration law in the law directory, The Legal 500. OTS Solicitors also have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.
OTS Solicitors specialise in visa applications and have substantial experience in obtaining UK visit visas, even after initial visit visa applications have been refused. The success of OTS Solicitors UK visit visa applications is down to diligent paperwork preparation and a thorough knowledge and understanding of the complex Home Office Immigration Rules and regulations surrounding visit visa and extension applications. 
For more information on applying for a UK visit visa or for advice on any aspect of personal or Business Immigration law please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help you.


Relevant People: 

For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK Immigration application, contact OTS Immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.


We are one of the UK’s top firms for Immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of Immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, student visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and human rights, British citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur visas and Investor visas.

Our top Immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.


Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0203 959 9123.

By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.