9

We would like you offer you an opportunity to withdraw your UK Visa application. Kindly complete and sign the attached form

Is it compulsory to fill out the form and reply the email? Why is the question asked? What happens if I don't reply to the email?

14
  • 38
    What is the source of this question and email? The language used does not sound like what the UK government woud use.
    – CMaster
    May 9, 2023 at 8:04
  • 8
    Assuming the e-mail is valid, I'm guessing there's some reason for rejecting your application that is an easily solved issue, so they're allowing you to forgo having an official refusal by you voluntarily withdrawing your application. May 9, 2023 at 8:04
  • 41
    This was not sent by any British authority. There are language irregularities, it should be: We would like TO offer you THE opportunity… PLEASE complete and sign the attached form. My best bet it's a scam
    – Mari-Lou A
    May 9, 2023 at 10:13
  • 8
    This is no attack on OP. I assume juliet mendonca is not a native English speaker. Scammers often use wrong language to filter out people keen enough to notice these discrepancies. They are often the same kind of people who doesn't fall for scams. It saves them time. Reply to @Mari-LouA 's comment. May 9, 2023 at 16:26
  • 9
    "kindly" = scam. Might as well come right out and say you're a Nigerian prince.
    – stannius
    May 9, 2023 at 20:18

2 Answers 2

46

The process for an applicant to voluntarily cancel or withdraw a UK visa application is published on this official page https://www.gov.uk/cancel-visa

For a visa application to be accepted by UKVI, it must be deemed valid (meet all of the validity requirements set out in the relevant Immigration Rules). If an application contains an error or omission that the applicant can take action to rectify, UKVI will contact the applicant giving them 14 days to do so. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/specified-application-forms-and-procedures/validation-variation-voiding-and-withdrawal-of-applications-accessible The contact will be issued from an official UKVI source, for example an email address ending .fco.gov.uk. If the applicant does not respond within this period the application will typically be rejected and the application fee refunded minus a £25 administration fee.

Unless you are certain that the email you received comes from an official source (try googling it if you’re unsure), the odds are vanishingly low that it is legitimate. If you don’t think it’s legitimate, if I were you I would report it as a suspected scam: https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing/report-visa-and-immigration-scams and then I would delete it.

1
  • Edited my answer to include reference to instances when UKVI will contact an applicant to ask them to take action to rectify an error or omission.
    – Traveller
    May 12, 2023 at 10:12
38

TL;DR Phishing - Delete

As already noted, there are a number of red flags. But the biggest issue is that they're asking you to fill the form. There are reasons to withdraw an application. For example, based on the numerous issues about problems if you lie on an application, it might be better to withdraw a not-quite-100%-true application and submit a new, correct and true application than to try and explain your way out of a problem. If this were somehow legitimate (e.g., maybe somebody pressed a button somewhere and now you need to confirm "withdraw application"), then any "form" would be absolutely minimal, just whatever is necessary to confirm you agree to withdraw the application - e.g., confirm birthdate and application number - enough to verify you submitted the original but not enough for someone to submit a new application.

However, I'd be willing to bet that the "form" here has a lot of key personal information waiting for you to fill it in. Stuff like:

  • Full name
  • Current address
  • ID numbers (equivalent of US Social Security Number)
  • Date of birth (by itself it means little, with everything else it means a lot)
  • Bank Account details (which can be legitimate in an application to verify funds availability, but which would not be needed to cancel an application)

The big question is why did you get this? There are a few possibilities:

  • You have not (or not recently) applied for a visa - in which case this is a guaranteed random phishing scam. They found your email somewhere (hacked web site, purchased a list, hacked someone else's email, etc.) and sent this to you (and thousands of other people).
  • You have recently applied for a visa - still most likely the same scam. Out of any given a population, a certain percentage will have recently applied for a visa (just as a certain percentage will have recently used Amazon or eBay or PayPal or any particular banking web site, etc.)
  • You have recently applied for a visa through a third party system. This would be a big concern because it is possible that someone hacked into that system. Or even worse - the system itself may be a scam, designed to trick you into providing more and more information at every step of the way, including "withdrawing" the application. So if you have applied for a visa, check to make sure you did directly to the appropriate government system. If not, you may already be a victim of identity theft.
  • You have recently applied for a visa through the appropriate government system and that system was hacked. Actually not terribly likely. Not that those systems don't get hacked. But because if they did then it is likely they (the bad guys) would already have your information, whether you fill out any form now or not.

But 99% chance it is essentially a random phishing attack. Delete. Done.

3
  • 14
    It should perhaps also be noted that some of these "third party systems" are in fact scams in their own right. IMHO it is rarely useful or wise to apply through anything other than the official government system.
    – Kevin
    May 10, 2023 at 4:40
  • 5
    @Kevin Indeed. An option that's not listed in the answer is that the 3rd party system was a scam from the beginning and this is just part of their cover story: submit an application,pay the fee, withdraw the application as suggested,fee understandably not refunded.
    – TooTea
    May 10, 2023 at 5:30
  • Yes, this answer should cover the possibility that the third party visa agent or similar the OP have used are actually a scam themselves, without any hacking being required.
    – CMaster
    May 10, 2023 at 11:40

You must log in to answer this question.