Complaints procedure

Find out how to complain about UK Visas and Immigration and how we deal with complaints.

We aim to reply to you within 20 working days. However, due to current resource demands it may take us longer than usual to respond. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

We are currently consulting on improving complaint handling across government. You can feed back on the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s office.

Contact us if:

  • you have a complaint about our service or professional conduct
  • the incident happened within the last 3 months

Complaints should be made no later than 3 months after the date of the incident unless there are exceptional circumstances.

If you want a general update

If you want an update on the progress of your application, you can read our service standards to find out our processing times. It also contains details on how we will contact you if your application cannot be decided within the normal service standard.

We will not respond to progress enquiries if you used our online complaints form.

The following pages offer alternative customer contact information:

The following categories are not considered as complaints and the online form should not be completed. Here are further contacts (above)

If you’re unhappy about a decision

If you’re not satisfied with a decision we have made, or if you want to ask for a review you may be able to apply for an administrative review.

If you’re refused entry or leave to remain

If you’ve been refused entry to, or leave to remain in the United Kingdom and you want to appeal you can read the detailed guidance on how to appeal.This includes information on whether you have a right of appeal for your application.

If you think your access to work, benefits or government services has been affected because of your immigration status

You can contact the Home Office about your immigration status if your access to work, benefits or services has been affected, and you believe this is because the immigration status held by the Home Office may be incorrect.

If you want to report an immigration crime

You can use the contact form if you believe someone is working illegally, or has made a false application to stay in the UK, or is involved in smuggling.

If you’ve had goods or a vehicle seized

Goods and vehicle seizures are dealt with by the National post seizure unit.

If you want to complain about other areas of the Home Office

Other areas of the Home Office have their own complaints procedures:

How to complain

If you have a complaint about our service or professional conduct, read the instructions below. You can then fill in our online complaints form or write to us at:

Complaints allocation hub
Central point of receipt
7th Floor
Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road

We will only respond to enquiries that are considered as complaints.

If you are under 18 please use the complaints email address below to submit your complaint.

Complaints do not affect our decision-making process and making a complaint doesn’t mean that your application will be dealt with more quickly or more slowly.

Tell us as much information about yourself as you can. This will help us to find the information relevant to your case, and to contact you about it. You should provide:

  • your contact details – it is important you include your address and phone number as we may contact you to resolve your complaint by phone or to request further information
  • the names of the applicant/original complainant if you’re completing this on behalf of someone else – we must have written authority to disclose information about another person’s case
  • full details of the matter you’re complaining about, including times, dates and locations
  • the names or identifying numbers of any staff you’ve dealt with
  • details of any witnesses to the incident, if appropriate
  • details of any reimbursement issues including papers and receipts to support your claim
  • your Home Office reference details, and any other references that will help us to investigate your complaint, for example refund reference, appeal reference, UAN (unique application number), IHS reference and any payment references.
  • if your complaint is in relation to our contact centre we will need to know the date you called, the number you dialled and the number you called us from

If you are submitting your complaint through our online form, please include the UKVI application type your complaint relates to in the free text summary box.

If you are submitting a complaint by email, include the UKVI application type. For example:

  • I have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme
  • I have applied for naturalisation
  • I have applied for a visa to enter the UK as a student

This will help us investigate your complaint more quickly.

We may contact you if we need further evidence to support your complaint.

We can only accept complaints in English and Welsh.

Alternatively, email us at

What happens next?

Your complaint will be managed by our correspondence team. They’re responsible for ensuring that your complaint is resolved in a satisfactory and timely manner. We’ll send you an acknowledgement when you make a complaint and we may contact you during an investigation for further information.

Read the complaints management guidance for further information about how we deal with your complaints.

Read the ex-gratia guidance for further information about how we deal with your ex-gratia claim.

How long will it take?

We’ll investigate your complaint and reply to you within 20 working days. We will contact you if we need more time to investigate your complaint. If your complaint suggests serious professional misconduct we aim to respond within 12 weeks, following an impartial investigation.

Ex-gratia claims have separate timescales, for further information read the ex-gratia guidance.

Serious complaints

If you make a very serious complaint we may refer it to the Home Office’s professional standards unit who will write to you and inform you that they are handling your case. If you’ve made a complaint about serious professional misconduct, the investigators will tell you the outcome. Their letter will tell you who to contact if you’re still not satisfied with the outcome.

If you’re not satisfied

If you are not satisfied with our response, you can ask us to review the matter.

A senior member of staff will carry out an independent review of your complaint. They will provide you with further details within 20 working days of the date when you ask for a review.

If you are still not satisfied, you can escalate your complaint to the Independent Examiner of Complaints (IEC) within 3 months of receiving our response.

Email or write to:

PO Box 6147
S2 9JD

If you decide to escalate your complaint to the IEC, please provide them with copies of all correspondence you sent us and our replies.

Read more about the Independent Examiner of Complaints.

Complaints about Citizens’ Rights Agreements issues

You can complain to the Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA) if you want to report any issue affecting your citizens’ rights.

The IMA is an independent body and monitors how public bodies in the UK and Gibraltar implement and apply the citizens’ rights provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement and the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement.

The IMA cannot resolve individual complaints or overturn decisions but your complaint may help them to identify an issue which affects other people. The IMA can then address that issue with the relevant public body.

If you are unhappy about a decision on your application to the EU Settlement Scheme (for example if your application was refused) you may be able to apply for an administrative review or you may have a right of appeal.

If you’re dissatisfied with the service provided by the Home Office, follow the relevant Home Office complaints procedure.