I read about Speed Codes in UK visa refusal on V 4.2 a + c (and sometimes 'e') .

When refusing a UK standard visitor the ECA's who will use 'speed codes' to compose the refusal notice.

Can anyone confirm what speed codes are - I have also read about 'Horizon' on the gov.uk documentation, is this related to speed codes some how?

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    I don’t have a source, but I’d imagine speed codes are just a list of codes that the ECO inputs into the Proviso application system and which match a set of standard refusal reasons, for example “I have refused your application...do not meet the requirements of [speed code for relevant Immigration Rule]. From that a bespoke refusal letter can be produced which contains both the personalised response explaining the refusal and the standard reason(s) – Traveller Aug 2 '19 at 10:46
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    Or, said differently, they are just templates. ECOs don't retype full refusal letters each and every time from scratch, they re-use a lot of the text over and over again, with just a little bit of personalised details. – jcaron Aug 2 '19 at 11:43
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is purely about the secretarial practices of the visa office. How they type a letter has nothing to do with travelling. – David Richerby Aug 2 '19 at 11:48
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    @DavidRicherby yet we've had more than one question from visa applicants whose refusal letters comprise templates that have not been modified in any way. Questions about the specofic procedures can help to shed light on why such letters may be sent out. – phoog Aug 2 '19 at 12:18
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    @DavidRicherby maybe it makes no difference. But answers to other questions that explain how various travel-related systems work (API, PNRs, airline reservation systems, interlining, code sharing, rail ticketing, APC, etc.) improve the quality of the site, and I don't see why systems for the processing of visa applications ought to be any different. – phoog Aug 2 '19 at 12:29

I think what Gayot means is that the immigration officers use a template for refusal letters in which the reason for refusal is given in the form:

I have refused your application for a visit visa because I am not satisfied that you meet the requirements of paragraph(s) [speed code for relevant Immigration Rule]

Where the [speed code] is usually a pointer to the relevant rules and requirements. For example:

Paragraphs V4.2-V4.11 of Appendix V ...

This allows the immigration officers to personalise the template to each applicant's case whilst providing detailed reasons for the refusal.


Gayot has a reputation for posting answers that imply being very, very familiar with UK visa processes. I seem to remember at least one question on meta that implied they were directly involved professionally with some legal affairs pertaining to UK visas. Thus, Gayot probably had the opportunity either to talk to the relevant visa centre officers directly or maybe even experienced the procedure first hand. I believe that unless an officer directly involved with these procedures is willing to give us a real answer, anything we can say will have to be speculation.

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    I think your answer should probably be a comment. – JoErNanO Aug 24 '19 at 18:48
  • @JoErNanO That’s a rare one ;) However, I think ‘we can’t really know the correct answer’ is an answer in its own right. – Jan Aug 24 '19 at 18:58

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