All Articles: Fees

Syrian refugee loses High Court bid to get immigration appointment fee refunded

A Syrian refugee who paid £440 to secure settlement appointments despite being heavily in debt has lost a High Court bid to get his money back. The case is R (MS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 1413 (Admin). Home Office poli ...

19th July 2022 By

In-country fee waivers: who qualifies and what does the Home Office guidance say?

Immigration applications are extremely expensive. Most requests for permission to stay in the UK (other than under the Points Based Immigration System) now cost £1,048. In addition, applicants may need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (£624 a ...

12th July 2022 By

Free family visas: the entry clearance fee waiver policy

The Home Office has published guidance on fee waivers for entry clearance applications (in other words, when it is possible to get a visa for free). This is important as the fees are set at a level that is prohibitive for many families. The waiver app ...

30th June 2022 By

Children can now apply for a waiver of citizenship fees

Families who can’t afford British citizenship for their children can now get it for free. A new “citizenship fee waiver for individuals under 18” policy was published today. It allows under-18s to apply to have the £1,012 fee on app ...

26th May 2022 By

How much does it cost to sponsor someone for a UK work visa?

Sponsoring a foreign worker isn’t cheap. Application fees and visa taxes typically run to thousands of pounds. Since the UK left the European Union, the costs of sponsorship have also applied to employers who want to hire EU workers under the Po ...

27th April 2022 By

Immigration and nationality fees for 2022/23

The updated list of fees for immigration and nationality applications that apply from 6 April 2022 shows that most visas and extensions are up £15. Citizenship and sponsor licence rates are unchanged.  Headline application fees had been largely froz ...

7th April 2022 By

New fee waivers for foreign and Commonwealth armed forces veterans

The Ministry of Defence and Home Office have jointly announced that the government will be waiving settlement fees for foreign citizens who have served in the UK armed forces for at least six years or been discharged due to an illness or injury attrib ...

25th February 2022 By

Supreme Court upholds government’s right to set child citizenship fees as it chooses

The Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the level at which the government has set the fees for children to register as British citizens. The court held that the government has been authorised by Parliament to set the level of the fees as it cho ...

2nd February 2022 By

Inspector reveals broken promises on free visa appointments

The immigration inspector has welcomed an increase in free appointments at visa centres in the UK following a report showing that they have been consistently unavailable. David Neal found that Home Office attempts to keep appointments free despite out ...

30th November 2021 By

Unnecessary fees for overseas acts heap fresh misery on live entertainment sector

It’s been a very long time since most UK live music and theatre “sponsors” have had to issue paperwork for overseas artists to come into the UK. For most, it’s been 16 months and counting. Since then, we’ve had Brexit, dragging EU ac ...

3rd August 2021 By

Windrush family priced out of UK win human rights challenge

In this edition of “have I got immigration news for you”, we look at the case of Mahabir v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1177 (Admin), in which the High Court found that the Home Office had caused a “colossal interferenc ...

11th May 2021 By

Immigration and nationality fees for 2021/22

The updated list of fees for immigration and nationality applications that apply from 6 April 2021 shows that all remain unchanged from last year. This marks the third financial year running that headline application fees have been largely frozen, ha ...

6th April 2021 By

Policy on fee waivers for entry clearance is unlawful, government concedes

In another blow for the Home Office on visa application fees, the department has been forced to concede that its policy on fee waivers for entry clearance applications is unlawful.  Fee waiver policies At time of writing, the relevant guidance states ...

8th March 2021 By

£1,012 child citizenship fee confirmed unlawful by Court of Appeal

Upholding an earlier High Court decision, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the Home Office’s £1,012 fee for registering children as British citizens is unlawful. The case is R (Project for the Registration of Children As British Citizens ...

19th February 2021 By

Immigration and nationality fees unchanged for 2020/21

The list of fees for immigration and nationality applications was updated on 1 December 2020 to reflect the new or rebranded visa routes introduced on that date. The actual amounts are unchanged, though, and indeed application fees have mostly been f ...

8th December 2020 By

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee levied on the majority of UK visa applications. The IHS is on top of other Home Office immigration fees and designed to land in a different government pocket. Also known as the NHS surcharge, it essentia ...

27th October 2020 By

Why a Welsh government report on BAME coronavirus deaths calls for lower visa costs

A recent report on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in Wales has urged the Welsh government to lobby the UK government to reduce visa costs, especially for those whose income is too low to spon ...

30th June 2020 By

Immigration application fee destitution policy found unlawful

The Upper Tribunal has found that the Home Office’s policy for waiving the immigration application fee for destitute immigrants — the fees can add up to thousands of pounds for a family — is unlawful and needs to be widened. The judg ...

21st May 2020 By

Fee waiver for children denied British citizenship by discredited paternity law

The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 294) come into force on 6 April 2020. They introduce a handful of fee tweaks, with the most significant changes being for children whose natural father is a man o ...

23rd March 2020 By

The cost of hiring workers under the new Points Based Immigration System

This week we finally got to see more detail about the 2021 Points Based Immigration System. The government’s announcement confirms that every organisation in the UK — from businesses to charities, schools to local shops — will need t ...

21st February 2020 By

£1,000 child citizenship fee found unlawful

The High Court has ruled that charging a citizenship fee of over £1,000 to children is unlawful. The decision will be widely welcomed by campaigners who have long argued that the fee charged to register a child as British, which is set far above the ...

19th December 2019 By

My client’s 13-year-old son is alone in Ghana and she can’t afford £2,500 in Home Office fees to bring him here

In July 2018, a Ghanaian lady named Florence* received a call to say that her 12-year-old son was about to be left on the streets of Accra unless she came to take him. The boy had been in the care of Florence’s sister, who had recently died. Flo ...

22nd November 2019 By

Briefing: How expensive are UK immigration applications and is this a problem?

The cost of making an immigration or nationality application has risen extremely steeply in recent years. Annual increases of 20% or 25% per year became standard, bringing the current cost of an application for indefinite leave to remain (aka settleme ...

3rd September 2019 By

Immigration and nationality fees lack “basic fairness”

Consistently the most popular article on Free Movement, somewhat depressingly, is the list of immigration and nationality fees. The fees charged by the Home Office for processing visa, settlement and nationality applications are high, set far above th ...

4th April 2019 By

Most immigration and nationality fees frozen for 2019/20

The updated list of fees for immigration and nationality applications that apply from 29 March 2019 shows that most remain unchanged from this year. The amount the Home Office has been charging to process visa, settlement and citizenship applications ...

12th March 2019 By

Media pressure saved my clients from removal – but now come the crippling fees

Last month, for the first time in my career, I took a client’s appeal to the media instead of the immigration tribunal. Mozaffar Saberi and Rezvan Habibimarand are an elderly Iranian couple (83 and 73) living in Edinburgh. They have four adult ...

25th February 2019 By

Briefing: Parliament never intended for children to be charged sky-high fees to register as citizens

The British Nationality Act 1981, which took effect on 1 January 1983, introduced British citizenship into UK nationality law. In doing so, it removed the principle of jus soli – the principle by which citizenship is acquired by being born on the te ...

4th September 2018 By

Home Office makes almost £100 million from children registering as British citizens

Home Office profit on the fees charged to children exercising their right to British citizenship comes to nearly £100 million over the past five years, Free Movement analysis has shown. The controversially high fee for the citizenship process known a ...

4th July 2018 By

What is driving the Home Office fees increase?

When asked why the fees for visa applications are so expensive, the Home Office traditionally responds that the immigration system should be “funded by those who benefit from it”, in order to reduce taxpayer expense. This is a convenient p ...

2nd July 2018 By

Waive immigration fees for soldiers from overseas

The ill-treatment of Commonwealth soldiers may no longer make headlines, but scandalously high immigration fees are depriving many of those who have served this country of their right to settle in Britain, writes Vinita Templeton of Duncan Lewis. The ...

18th May 2018 By