Home Office Compensation For Delays in Processing Visa Applications

In some circumstances it may be possible to get compensation for delayed Home Office visa decisions & applications. Here we explain how

Following a complaint that seeks financial compensation, the Home Office will sometimes make an ex-gratia payments where:

 “the customer has suffered actual financial loss or non-financial loss that is sufficiently compelling to warrant financial redress.”

UKVI only makes ex-gratia payments to customers “as a redress for maladministration.” Maladministration is defined as “lack of care, judgement or honesty in the management of something”, with examples including the Home Office invalidating or losing documents, or taking incorrect action such as endorsing a passport with the wrong conditions.

The Home Office guidance is clear that delays are not generally classed as maladministration:

 “Delays that have occurred due to operational constraints and limited resources, i.e. where a backlog of cases have occurred, are not classed as maladministration by Immigration Enforcement, Border Force or UK Visas & Immigration directorates.

The guidance states that only in “exceptional circumstances” will financial redress be appropriate: 

Forms of redress such as an apology or remedial action may be called for when the complaint is about delay. Financial redress would only be appropriate in exceptional circumstances where the delay has also had a financial impact. Examples can include failure to take action on repeated requests from applicants regarding the return of a passport which then leads to financial loss, or a decision being made on an application and failing to serve that decision which then leads to financial losses, such as loss of access to benefits or being unable to take up a proven offer of employment or employment being terminated. Whether a delay should be considered as “reasonable” will be dependent on the circumstances and decision makers will take a case by case approach.”

Following certain judicial review proceedings, it is a possibility for courts to award damages in cases where the Home Office has been found to be negligent in performing its duty of care in causing the appellant loss for which they should be compensated in damages. However, any financial remedy will be compensatory in nature and there is no guarantee that the cost of legal representation will be covered.

See also:

follow each of these steps, starting from the first, in order. It is important that you take these steps when complaining about the Home Office:

  1. My Visa Application is Delayed – What Can I Do?
  2. Home Office Compensation for Delays in Processing Visa & Immigration Applications
  3. How to Chase a Delayed UK Visa & Immigration Application
  4. Contact UK Visas and Immigration for Assistance
  5. Complain about UKVI
  6. Contact your local MP
  7. Complain to Parliamentary and health Service Ombudsman
  8. Pre-Action Protocol Letter
  9. Judicial Review