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UK Visas & Immigration Fees Increased

New Immigration and nationality applications fees is effective from 6 April 2017 in accordance with The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) Order 2017. The changes in the fees has largely distressed migrants who are eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) because of 22.5% increase in the fees from £1875 in year 2016 to £2,297 this year. A migrant having a family unit of four people is expected to pay a horrendous fee of £9188.

Table with detail of fees and unit costs 2017[1] published by the Home Office shows that the total cost incurred by the Home Office on an ILR application is £252. In simple terms the Home Office is making a profit of £2,045 from each applicant applying for ILR in the UK.

It is also noted that Secretary of State has made a reasonable increase in fee relating to few Entry Clearance, Leave to Remain and Naturalisation applications from 2% to 18%. The applications include Visitors, limited leave to remain as sponsored workers including Tier 2 (General) migrants, Intra Company Transfers up to 3 years, long term staff, sports and Minister of Religion, Graduate trainees, skills transfer, Tier 2 shortage occupation up to 3 years or above and other categories under point based system.

There are few categories for which the Secretary of State has not made any changes to the fee or reduced the fees up to 25%. In-country applications (applications made inside UK) for which the fees remains the same includes, Biometrics Residence Permits, Electronic Visa Waiver, Travel Documents, European Residence Documents, Life in the UK Test, Biometrics Enrolment, Administrative Review, Processing of rejected applications as invalid, sponsor licence or renewal or maintenance of sponsorship, Allocation of a Certificate of Sponsorship, Allocation of Confirmation of Studies, optional Premium Customer Services for sponsors, Registration of New documents, Arrangement of Citizen Ceremony or Oath etc. The overseas services for which the fee remains the same includes, Processing of claim or applications outside consular premises, provision of advice, assistance or training etc.

The services for which the fee has now been reduced up to 25% includes both in-country and overseas applications for Single entry visa to replace Biometrics Residence permit, Entry Clearance applications for Refugee dependent relatives, transfer of condition applications made overseas, transfer of condition applications made in UK for limited leave to remain in the UK or ILR and Applications for letter, documents (not passports) for Indefinite Leave to Remain or Limited Leave to Remain etc.

[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/606616/Unit_cost_table_2017.pdf

Author: Shahzeb Iqbal