There’s nothing more frustrating than being served with a visa refusal letter. The time, effort, emotional and psychological investments, not to mention the financial aspect of it all are too great to ignore at once.

In my quest to avoid the pitfalls of visa refusal, I have been researching and collating information and counterchecking them with the UK immigration rules posted at the UK government website.  

I know the terminologies used in the wordings of the immigration rules are so tricky that even some solicitors tread with them with so much care. I, myself, am not a lawyer by profession. I wish I was though! LOL! But well, I just make the best out of what I have read, understood and learned. I just want to share the information I have gathered in the hope that I’d be able to help also those who are in the same boat as me.

To start off with the topic, there are two ways the Entry Clearance Officer or caseworker may assess one’s case. These are the following:

  1. Mandatory Grounds for  Entry Clearance

These are the grounds which will automatically allow the ECO or caseworker without second thoughts to refuse the application, hence the word MANDATORY.

See Paragraph 320(1 to 7D) for the General Ground for Refusal Publication for your reference.

2.  Discretionary Grounds for Entry Clearance

These are the grounds which are decided or assessed by the ECO or caseworker using their own discretion or own judgment.

See Paragraph 320(8 to 23) for the General Ground for Refusal Publication for your reference.

Without further adieu, I am presenting to you the list of general grounds for refusal used by all entry clearance officers or caseworkers in assessing the applicant’s application. Please note that this isn’t comprehensive. Refer to the link below for your reference. 

A. Mandatory Grounds for  Entry Clearance

  1. Paragraph 320(1) Entry is sought for a purpose not covered in the Rules
  2. Paragraph 320(2)(a) Subject to a deportation order
  • 320(2)(b) Sentenced to imprisonment for at least four years
  • 320(2)(c) Sentenced to imprisonment for at least 12 months but less than 4 years in
    the last 10 years
  • 320(2)(d) Sentenced to imprisonment for less than 12 months in the last 5 years

3. Paragraph 320(3) Failure to produce a valid passport or travel document

4. Paragraph 320(6) Exclusion conducive to the public good – Secretary of State’s
personal direction

5. Paragraph 320(7) Refusal for medical reasons – confirmed by medical inspector

  • 320(7D) Failure to attend interview
  • 320(7A) False representation, false documents and/or non-disclosure of material facts
  • 320(7B) Previously breached the UK’s Immigration Rules (subject to A320)


B. Discretionary Grounds for Entry Clearance

  1. Paragraph 320(8) Failure to produce information required by the Immigration Officer
  2. Paragraph 320(8A) Failure to supply information, documents, copy documents or medical certificate
  3. Paragraph 320(10) Passport of an authority not recognised by Her Majesty’s Government or other unacceptable document
  4. Paragraph 320(11) Contrived in a significant way to frustrate the rules
  5. Paragraph 320(13) Lack of ability to return (or unacceptable elsewhere after a stay in the UK)
  6. Paragraph 320(14) Refusal of sponsor to give an undertaking in respect of support and accommodation
  7. Paragraph320 (16) Child under 18 – no written consent provided by parent(s) or guardian(s)
  8. Paragraph 320 (17)Refusal to submit to a medical examination
  9. Paragraph 320 (18A) Person convicted of, or admitted to an offence and received a noncustodial sentence or out of court disposal
  • Paragraph 320(18B)(a) Undesirable for applicant to enter the UK because of their offending causing serious harm
  • Paragraph 320(18B)(b) Undesirable for applicant to enter the UK because they are a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.

10. 320(19) Exclusion conducive to the public good – Immigration Officer’s Discretion

11. 320(20) Failure to provide biometric data

12. 320(22) Failure to pay an outstanding charge to the National Health Service (NHS)

  • where one or more relevant NHS body has notified the Secretary of State that the person seeking entry or leave to enter has failed to pay a charge or charges with a total value of at least £500 in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors.

13. 320(23) Failure to pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office


Disclaimer: Featured image belongs to its rightful owner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Start a Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: