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I made a mistake on my previous UK visit visa application, and it was one of the reasons the application was rejected. When making a new application, after correcting the mistake, should I make reference to the previous application? I'm concerned they will check the previous rejected application and see a different answer and conclude that I'm being dishonest in my new application.

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    What was the mistake? You must disclose the previous refusal, even if you don’t UKVI will know about it; failing to disclose it will earn you an automatic refusal for deception and likely lead to a ban if you subsequently reapply. The no.1 rule is “always tell the truth” - it is perfectly normal for answers to be different from a previous application if eg your circumstances have changed (got a job, bought a house etc). Whatever you answer must be supported by evidence.
    – Traveller
    Jun 28, 2023 at 16:59
  • @Traveller Yes I have disclosed the refusal in the new application (although I haven't yet detailed the issue). I was visiting a country on a tourist visa, and during my time there I studied in a language school. The school is very informal so it's not possible to get a study visa. Also they don't give any kind of enrolment papers. So last time I applied I mentioned in my application that I was studying in that country, thinking I was being transparent. I didn't include any enrolment papers or similar as I didn't have any, as a result they didn't think I accurately presented my circumstances
    – saimda
    Jun 28, 2023 at 18:48
  • @Traveller Do I mention in my new application that I was there as a tourist and leave it at that, or further explain what I was doing there in case they look at my previous refused application?
    – saimda
    Jun 28, 2023 at 18:49
  • Does the country you were visiting allow tourists to study without a visa? What exactly did the refusal for your UK visa refer to in connection with your previous trip? It would help you get an answer if you posted a copy of the full refusal letter with personal details redacted
    – Traveller
    Jun 28, 2023 at 19:05
  • @Traveller Yes it's allowed. OP updated with letter. Issue in question circled. The other issues I have already worked on and fixed in my new application.
    – saimda
    Jun 28, 2023 at 19:19

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IANAL and this answer is just my opinion.

You’ve created a kind of Catch-22 situation. UKVI didn’t find your declaration that you were a student credible in your previous application. Correcting the information previously given won’t remove the refusal from your UK immigration record. Going back to try to correct it seems like the right approach, but with a fairly convoluted explanation it might raise a red flag about your overall credibility now (along the lines of “you didn’t tell the truth before, how do they know you’re being truthful now?”). OTOH it might be viewed as positive.

Your claimed status as a student was only one of several refusal reasons. Based on your previous question Is it worth re-applying for a UK Visitor visa? you are now residing in your home country where you are unemployed and living with family. Your status has therefore changed to something credible, plus in a comment you mention that you are addressing the critical refusal reasons regarding lack of ties and proof of funds.

UKVI will take your previous refusal into account, but it is most likely that their focus will be on the facts in your new application and the evidence supporting those facts. They’ll have little reason to reassess their previous conclusion about your status unless you draw their attention to it.

If I were you, therefore, on balance I would let sleeping dogs lie and I would not mention anything about your previous studies in your new application. However, if not doing so would give you sleepless nights worrying about the outcome then your only realistic option is to mention it.

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