Fees to rise for immigration and nationality applications from March 2016

For most entry clearance or leave to remain applications some kind of fee will be paid by the applicant. The cost of each application varies massively and can range from £85 for an application for entry clearance on a six month visit visa to £1,500 to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Often fees can be a significant factor that needs to be seriously considered by any applicant before they make an application for entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK.

On 11th January 2016 the Home Office proposed further increases in the costs of submitting entry clearance or leave to remain applications. These increases will be coming into force in March 2016 and will affect most types of visa.

The Changes

The amount that an application for entry clearance or leave to remain will increase depends upon the type of visa you are applying for.

The main changes that will come in to force are:

  • 2% increases for visit, study and work visas
  • 25% increase in fees for settlement, residence and nationality
  • increases to premium services, such as the priority visa service

A table listing the increases of all immigration services can be found here.

The Effect

For certain applications, particularly those for settlement and nationality, the increase will have a significant effect on the charges imposed on the applicant. For example in order to naturalise as a British citizen, application fees will go up 25% from £925 to £1,156 from 18th March 2016. Such rises can inhibit the ability of certain applicants to apply for entry clearance or leave to remain in the UK. The underlying message is that submitting entry clearance and leave to remain applications can be expensive and will continue to increase in price for the foreseeable future.

With fees increasing it is very important that, particularly with settlement applications, you get the application right first time as the fee will not be refunded if your application is unsuccessful. It is vital that the rules for each application be strictly followed and the correct evidence submitted or you face losing a substantial amount of money with each incorrectly made application. By instructing a legal representative to act on your behalf you could give your application the greatest chance of success and therefore save yourself a lot of money in the long run.

Should you need further advice on how these increases might affect an application you were considering to make or would like to make an application before the fee increases come in to place, please do not hesitate to contact our Immigration department.