It’s not as if most people enter into the UK immigration application system assuming it’s going to be a piece of cake, but at the same time very few are ever truly prepared for how convoluted it can be. However, as far as the London immigration lawyers are concerned, the vast majority of applications that end up facing delays or get thrown out of the running altogether are hampered not by bureaucracy, but rather the fact that their respective applicants made one of several common mistakes during the application process.

Admittedly, there are quite a lot of rules to follow and they do seem to like to make it complicated, but at the same time there’s really no excuse for the kinds of careless errors that perpetuate thousands of applications each and every week.

So, with this in mind, what follows is a quick overview of five of the most common immigration application mistakes that might not result in outright failure, but are guaranteed to delay things quite extensively:

1 – Using the Wrong Forms

This is perhaps the single most common mistake made by hundreds of UK immigration applicants every week and is also one of the simplest to avoid. Whichever way you look at it, the forms available for foreign nationals looking to obtain a UK visa are both abundant and complicated. Worse still, they all have a habit of looking pretty similar. However, your legal advisor will tell you precisely what form it is that you need in accordance with your own application and circumstances, so there’s really no need to go filling in the wrong one. Some of the forms have very similar names with perhaps just a single letter being different, but to assume that this letter makes no difference is a dangerous way of approaching things. Use the wrong form and you risk your application being thrown out entirely.

2 – Allowing a Current Visa to Expire

If you currently have a valid visa with a good amount of time left on it, your chances of successfully applying for either a new visa or renewal increase significantly. By contrast, if you allow your visa to expire, you will technically be processed out of the country and once again have to apply as a new applicant. This can make things unnecessarily long-winded and complicated as while it may not harm your chances of being accepted once again, it will certainly take a lot longer than it would had you applied in good time.

3 – Replacing Lawyers with Google

One of the most common and detrimental habits of all these days among applicants is making the assumption that with so much information and guidance available online, you really don’t need to hire a lawyer at all. Sadly, it’s safe to say that not only is about 75% of the information you read online with regard to immigration misleading, but your own case will be 100% unique and cannot be judged in accordance with any other. So once again, it’s a similar story of perhaps being able to successfully apply for a visa, though having your application delayed unnecessarily by all the mistakes you’re guaranteed to make with no formal legal help. Legal advice may not come cheap, but at the same time it could determine the ultimate outcome of your application.

4 – Assuming You Know it All

This may be the tenth time you’ve applied for a UK visa for any given reason and you may have been successful with every extension you’ve applied for to date. However, the speed at which the UK immigration system is changing and evolving right now is such that whether it’s been a year, a month or even a week since you last looked up what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your application, things may well have changed in a big way. As such, it’s of crucial importance never to fall into the trap of assuming you know it all as this kind of over-confidence is a sure-fire recipe for problems.

5 – Putting Your Trust in ‘Agents’

Last but not least, there are basically two kinds of immigration representation in the UK today – the legitimate stuff and that which really has no place in business. If, for example, you come across an immigration ‘agent’ offering all manner of services and assistance, you might be tempted to dive in for the low prices they’re quoting. However, the fact that they aren’t referring to themselves as lawyers of legal counsel should set alarm bells ringing – they may have no experience, no qualifications and really no chance of helping you.