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No refunds for EU settled status applications


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A new list of fees for immigration and nationality applications comes into effect from 8 October. None of the existing fees have actually changed since April; the Home Office is just adding the charges for Appendix EU “settled status” applications to the list.

The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, in force since 18 August, had set the cost of an Appendix EU application:

  • £65 for adults
  • £32.50 for under-16s
  • Free for:
    • People who already have a permanent residence document
    • People who already have indefinite leave to remain
    • Children in care

The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2018, which mostly come into force on 8 October, now set the policy on refunds for invalid applications. The policy is, there are no refunds. Per the explanatory memorandum:

The administrative costs incurred by the Home Office up to the point at which an EU Settlement Scheme application is rejected as invalid will exceed the fee paid for making the application, therefore the Government is setting the rejection fee at the same level as the application fee (£65 or £32.50 for applicants aged under 16). In practice, this will mean that where a settlement scheme application is rejected as invalid (after contacting the applicant and giving them a reasonable opportunity to provide what is needed for the application to be valid), no refund of the application fee will be made.

For an application to be valid — that is, eligible to be considered in the first place — the applicant must:

  1. Apply online, or via the assisted digital service for people who can’t use the internet
  2. Pay the fees mentioned above
  3. Include proof of identity and nationality, typically by scanning or posting off a passport or ID card
  4. “Enrol their facial image”, typically by uploading a passport-style photo

The memo also explains that EU citizens can ask for an administrative review of applications that are valid but rejected — for example, because the person has failed to prove that they live in the UK. This will cost £80.

The new regulations also introduce three new fee waivers, covering:

  • Indefinite leave to remain for Afghan interpreters and their families
  • Indefinite leave to remain for Dubs amendment children
  • Invalid applications where no fee was ever paid. (I barely understand this one but it presumably solves a problem that somebody had: the notes say that “it has never been the Home Office’s intention or practice to charge a fee where the application being rejected was not accompanied by an application fee. The introduction of a specific provision makes that position clear”.)

Finally, they set the price for having biometric enrolment — photographs and fingerprints — taken in the comfort of your own home (a snip at £650 an hour). By contrast, the outrageous fees for children registering as British citizens are not addressed. The immigration minister had said in a recent House of Commons debate that “I am committed to reviewing our approach to setting fees for visa, immigration and nationality services, including taking account of the issues raised in this debate”.


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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.