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Another massive increase in immigration and nationality application fees for 2017-18

Another massive increase in immigration and nationality application fees for 2017-18

New fees for immigration and nationality applications come into effect on 6 April 2017. The changes include an increase of 18% in settlement (ILR) applications to £2,297 and dependent relative applications to a huge £3,250. Meanwhile, naturalisation fees have been held at “only” a 4% increase to £1,202, compared to a 25% increase last year.

This is all before the Immigration Health Surcharge is added to the cost of an application, which costs £200 per year per migrant for all limited leave visas other than visits (£120 for students).

Many suspect the Home Office makes a hefty profit on these fees. They are correct. The actual cost of processing an ILR application is £252 and a naturalisation application cost the Home Office £386. Most outrageous is the application fee for registering a child as British. The fee in 2017 is £973, which has just gone up yet again, but the actual cost was £386.

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It is not just individual migrants who are being squeezed for fees. The Immigration Skills Charge Regulations 2017 have also been published, coming into effect on 6 April 2017. These impose on employers who recruit foreign workers from outside the EU a charge of £1,000 per worker per year. A lower charge of £364 per worker per year is applicable to small businesses and universities and some exemptions apply. The charge only applies to new recruits, not existing ones.

The full list of old fees, new fees, the fee change and the percentage change compared to last year is below:

Home Office Immigration & Nationality Charges 2017
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew fee from 6 April 2017Fee Change% Change

Visas / applications made outside the UK

Visit visa < 6 months£87£89£22.2
Visit visa < 2 years [note 1]£330£337£72.1
Visit visa < 5 years£600£612£122
Visit visa <10 years£752£767£152
Visiting academic – more than 6 months but no more than 12 months£170£179£95
Private medical treatment visa – more than 6 months but not more than 11 months£170£179£95
Short term student visa (up to 6 months)£89£93£44.3
Short term student studying English language for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months£170£179£95
Settlement£1,195£1,464£26918.4
Settlement – other dependant relative£2,676£3,250£57417.7
Settlement – refugee dependant relative£472£423(£49)-11.6
Indefinite leave to enter the UK as the dependant of a member of the armed forces under Appendix Armed Forces to the Immigration Rules.£1,875£2,297£42218.4
Certificate of entitlement – (right of abode)£472£423(£49)-11.6
Other visa£405£496£9118.3
Transit visa – (direct airside transit)£32£34£25.9
Transit visit visa (landside transit)£59£62£34.8
Visa for the purpose of joining a ship or aircraft as a member of the crew of that ship or aircraft£59£62£34.8
Transfer of Conditions (Vignette transfer)£189£169(£20)-11.8
Representative of an overseas business£546£587£417
Call out/ out of hours fee (per hour/part hour)£130£137£75.1
Single-entry visa to replace a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)£189£169(£20)-11.8
Receiving, preparing and forwarding documents£115£136£2115.4
Electronic Visa Waiver£15£15£00

Points based system – applications made outside the UK

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) [note 2]£963£982£191.9
Tier 1 (Investor)£1,530£1,561£312
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – initial application [note 2]£287£293£62
Approval letter from a competent body in respect of an initial application for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)£287£292£51.7
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – subsequent application [note 2]£574£585£111.9
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – dependant£574£585£111.9
Tier 1 (General) – dependant£963£982£191.9
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) [note 2]£342£349£72
Tier 1 (Post-study Work) – dependant£570£581£111.9
Dependant of a student granted leave under the rules in place prior to the implementation of the Points-Based System£328£335£72.1
Tier 2 (General), (Intra-Company Transfer) – Long Term Staff, (Sportsperson) & (Minister of Religion), where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less [note 2]£575£587£122
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) – Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee, and Skills Transfer (dependants only) [note 2]£454£463£91.9
Tier 2 (General), (Intra-Company Transfer) – Long Term Staff, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years [note 2]£1,151£1,174£232
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less [note 2]£437£446£92
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years [note 2]£873£892£192.1
Tier 4£328£335£72.1
Tier 5 [note 2]£230£235£52.1

Optional Premium Services outside the UK

Priority visa service – settlement£450£551£10118.3
Priority visa service – non-settlement£150£184£3418.5
Super priority visa service£750£919£16918.4
User-pay visa application centre£55£55£00
Passport pass-back£42£51£917.6
Visa application centre appointment – outside office hours£63£75£1216
International Contact Centre – Email Service (commences 1 June 2017)NEW£5.48n/a
International Contact Centre – Telephone Helpline (per minute)1.37 per minute1.37 per minute£00

Optional Premium Services in the UK

Expedited processing of an application (premium service centre)£400£490£9018.4
Expedited processing of an application (premium service centre) – appointment booking fee£100£100£00
Expedited processing of an application (premium service centre) – outside office hours fee£63£75£1216
Provision of Immigration Officer at the border (hourly rate)£53.08 per hour£53.08 per hour£00
Priority service£375£459£8418.3
Super premium service£8,750£10,500£1,75016.7
Mobile premium service£4,500£5,513£1,01318.4
Application in person (super premium and mobile premium services)£500£590£9015.3
Premium status checks and advice (Administrative Officer) (per minute)£0.80£0.80n/a0
[note 3]
Premium status checks, advice or training (Executive Officer) (inside office hours) [note 3]£0.88£0.88n/a0
Premium status checks, advice or training (Executive Officer) (outside office hours) [note 3]£1.10£1.10n/a0
Premium status checks, advice or training (Higher Executive Officer) (inside office hours) [note 3]£0.97£0.97n/a0
Premium status checks, advice or training (Higher Executive Officer) (outside office hours) [note 3]£1.23£1.23n/a0

Discretionary services at the border

Registered Traveller Service – yearly subscription£50£50£00
Registered traveller Service child – yearly subscriptionNEW£24£00
Registered Traveller Service – registration of documents£20£20£00
Fast Track – Heathrow terminals 2, 3 and 4£3.60£3.90£0.307.7
Fast Track – Other£3£3£00

Applications made in the UK

Indefinite leave to remain£1,875£2,297£42218.4
Leave to remain – Other£811£993£18218.3
Leave to enter for persons in the UK who are liable to immigration detention£811£993£18218.3
Transfer of Conditions (TOC) or Application for a document confirming identity and immigration or nationality status – limited leave to remain£223£168(£55)-32.7
TOC or Application for a document confirming identity and immigration or nationality status – indefinite leave to remain£308£237(£71)-30
Biometric residence permit (BRP) / replacement BRP£56£56£00
Processing an application which is subsequently rejected£25£25n/a0
In country biometric enrolment£19.20£19.20£0.000
Certificate of travel – adult£218£267£4918.4
Certificate of travel – child£109£134£2518.7
Convention travel document – adult£72£72£00
Convention travel document – child£46£46£00
Retired person of independent means£1,530£1,874£34418.4
Representative of an overseas business£664£677£131.9
European residence document (registration certificate, document certifying permanent residence, residence card, accession resident card, derivative residence card, permanent residence card)£65£65£00
Naturalisation [note 4]£1,236£1,282£463.6
Naturalisation British overseas territory citizens£925£962£373.8
Nationality registration as a British citizen – adult [note 4]£1,121£1,163£423.6
Nationality registration as a British citizen – child [note 5]£936£973£373.8
The arrangement of a citizenship ceremony (including the administration of a citizenship oath and pledge at the ceremony).£80£80£00
The administration of a citizenship oath, or oath and pledge where the oath, or oath and pledge, are not administered at a citizenship ceremony or by a justice of the peace.£5£5£00
Nationality registration – British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – adult£833£866£333.8
Nationality registration – British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – child£749£779£303.9
Renunciation of nationality£272£321£4915.3
Certificate of entitlement – (right of abode)£272£321£4915.3
Nationality review£272£321£4915.3
Provision of a copy of an immigration decision letter, correspondence or application relating to an individual’s immigration or nationality status.£0.16£0.16£00
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Applications made in the UK

Status letter£198£234£3615.4
Non-acquisition letter£198£234£3615.4
Nationality correction to certificate£198£234£3615.4
Life in the UK test£50£50£00
Nationality – supply of a certified copy of a notice, certificate, order or declaration£198£234£3615.4
Administrative review£80£80£00

Points based system – applications made in the UK

Tier 1 (General) – dependant£1,771£1,806£351.9
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) [note 2]£1,204£1,228£242
Tier 1 (Investor)£1,530£1,561£312
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) [note 2]£465£474£91.9
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – initial application [note 2]£287£293£62
Approval letter from a competent body in respect of an initial application for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)£287£292£51.7
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – extension [note 2]£574£585£111.9
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – dependant£574£585£111.9
Tier 2 (General), (Intra-Company Transfer) – Long Term Staff, (Sportsperson) & (Minister of Religion), where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less [note 2]£664£677£131.9
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) – Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee, and Skills Transfer (dependants only) [note 2]£454£463£91.9
Tier 2 (General), (Intra-Company Transfer) – Long Term Staff, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years [note 2]£1,328£1,354£261.9
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less [note 2]£437£446£92
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years [note 2]£873£892£192.1
Tier 4£448£457£92
Tier 5 [note 2]£230£235£52.1

Points based system – sponsorship

Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (large sponsor)£25,000£25,000£00
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (small sponsor)£8,000£8,000£00
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (large sponsor) for a period of 3 months£6,250£6,250n/a0
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (small sponsor) for a period of 3 months£2,000£2,000n/a0
Premium sponsor scheme – Tier 4£8,000£8,000£00
Premium Change of Circumstances£200£200£00
Tier 2 large sponsor licence (may also include Tier 4 and/or Tier 5)£1,476£1,476£00
Tier 2 small sponsor licence (may also include Tier 4 and/or Tier 5 )£536£536£00
Tier 4 sponsor licence£536£536£00
Tier 5 sponsor licence£536£536£00
Add Tier 2 to an existing Tier 4 &/or Tier 5 licence (large sponsor)£940£940£00
Basic compliance assessment (previously ‘Tier 4 Sponsor status’)£536£536£00
Sponsor action plan£1,476£1,476£00
Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)£199£199£00
Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)£21£21£00
Tier 4 Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS)£21£21£00
Note 1: Application fee of £89 where the applicant is a Chinese national applying in mainland China under the Chinese visa scheme
Note 2: a Council of Europe Social Charter (CESC) discount of £55 applies for main applicant.
Note 3: Administrative Officer, Executive Officer and Higher Executive Officer are Civil Service staff grades.
Note 4: the citizenship ceremony fee of £80 has been added to the application fee
Note 5: Additional £80 per applicant is required to cover the ceremony fee should the minor turn 18 during the application process. This will be requested at point of decision.

Sources: The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2017 and for a full list of the fees for this and previous years see UK visa fees

Colin Yeo
Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder and editor of the Free Movement immigration law website.

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