Visitor visa refusals from Southern Africa

(Partner content) Our South African offices are increasingly becoming aware that persons are struggling to get their visitor visas to the UK approved by the Sheffield Visa section.


The refusal rate for visitor visas is especially high for applicants from Zimbabwe. Another category that gets difficult approval is persons with boyfriends or girlfriends in the UK, or parents living in the UK. Persons who are not currently employed, or do not have sufficient funds or accommodation arranged in the UK also get easily refused.

Unfortunately, many travel agents assisting their clients with visitor visas to the UK are not aware of how strict Sheffield is at present. Breytenbachs is subsequently contacted to assist with several refusals.

The reason for the high refusal rate seems to lie in the fact that the Sheffield Visa section believes that applicants will not be returning to Southern Africa. This conviction stems from the fact that, unfortunately, many persons choose not to return to Southern Africa on the expiry of their visitor visas and become illegal. Others overstay on their visas.

Luckily, our South African offices are successful in securing visitor visas for applicants. The main thing to prove with the visitor visa to the UK is that one has responsibilities to return to South Africa after the visit. Your responsibilities can be proved in many ways, including;

  • Strong ties and responsibilities to return to South Africa;
  • The specific date of return to South Africa;
  • Evidence of family members remaining in South Africa;
  • Property owned or rented in South Africa;
  • Sufficient funds;
  • Accommodation arranged for the UK stay.

In cases where persons have had a refusal of their visitor visa to the UK, our South African offices will be able to assist. It will, however, depend on the reasons for the refusal, as well as the documents that were submitted with the initial application. Please feel free to contact Breytenbachs in South Africa to discuss your refusal, or for assistance with visitor visa application.

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Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.

For more information or assistance with your UK immigration matter, please send an email to or visit the Breytenbachs website at