Immigration Fees Rise for Applications and Appeals
This will be no surprise to many people who have had to apply for UK visas, extend stay in the UK and apply for permanent settlement. The Immigration fees, that is the money that is paid to the Home Office / UKVI to come to the UK or stay here, have increased, if not for all, then certainly for most applications.
Immigration Application fees from outside the UK range from an increase of £2. Others have increased by £535 or even £1,750 for the ‘super premium service’ which from outside of the UK, costs £8,750.
Whilst the fees for a six month visit visa increased by £2, in some cases there are now increases of £239 for a spouse visa and a fee increase of £535 from £2141 up now to the new figure of £2676 to have your dependent elderly parents / relatives join you.
Immigration Fees from within the UK
For those completing Immigration Application Forms for loved ones who are already in the UK you can expect to pay an extra £100 for the premium service centre where you travel on the day. To apply for a first visa or an extension to your visa from within the UK the Home Office/ UKVI fees are now £811 from £649 a £162 increase. The Fees for Immigration Applications for permanent stay / indefinite leave to remain have shot up to £1,875 from £1,500 which is an increase of £375.
Also if the Home Office / UKVI reject your application there is now a fee of £25 being charged. The advice is to ensure that you check your accounts if you are re-submitting an application to ensure you still have sufficient funds to meet the financial requirements.
Naturalisation fees have also increased by £231.
The latest increase Immigration Application Fees on the 18 March 2016 have seen the following visas now costing:
• Visit visa 6 months – £87
• Spouse visa – £1,195
• Dependent relative – £2,676
• Leave to Remain applications – £811
• Permanent stay applications – £1,875
• Naturalisation applications – £1,236
Sadly it does not end there. If you thought that migration and application fees were being dealt a few heavyweight punches, you were not entirely wrong. Though the truth of it is that there are further knockout blows.
The real knock out blows that come with the Immigration fees are fees to be paid to appeal a refusal. The fees to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal for a paper hearing were £80 whereas an oral hearing fee used to £140. The Government has said that the costs of these cases should be paid in full by those using this service. The new fees for Appeals are:
Oral hearing First Tier Tribunal – £800
Paper Hearing First Tier Tribunal – £490
That is per appellant, each person wanting to appeal. You can no longer appeal within the rules and now you pay £800! The length of time involved and the stress and pressures placed on families and individuals can be so off-putting that it acts as a deterrent to the many vulnerable people or those wronged by the Home Office.
In response, Law Society president Jonathan Smithers said: ‘It is fundamental to the rule of law that access to the courts and tribunals should not be determined by the ability to pay – the provision of justice should not be an accounting exercise.
‘There is a serious risk that fee increases of 500% will prevent many people from challenging often incorrect Home Office administrative decisions about their entitlement to enter or remain in the UK.’ The consultation on these Immigration Appeal Fees is expected to run until 3 June 2016.