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Immigration and nationality fees unchanged for 2020/21

Immigration and nationality fees unchanged for 2020/21

The updated list of fees for immigration and nationality applications that apply from 6 April 2020 shows that all remain unchanged from last year.

The amount the Home Office charges to process visa, settlement and citizenship applications had been rising steadily above inflation for many years up to 2018. For the past two years these fees have mostly been frozen — although the Immigration Health Surcharge, a separate tax on immigration, has increased sharply.

At the end of 2018, the health surcharge was £200 a year. A spouse applying for leave to remain in the UK would have paid £1,033 in processing fees for leave valid for two and a half years, plus £500 in health surcharge. The health surcharge doubled at the start of 2019 and is set to rise to £624 a year in October. So by the end of 2020, even with the headline fee staying the same, the total cost of that spouse application will have jumped from £1,533 to £2,593 in just two years.

Money from the Immigration Health Surcharge is ringfenced for the NHS, but the Home Office makes a hefty profit on the processing fees as well. A migrant applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK must pay £2,389. The cost to the Home Office of processing an ILR application is £243 — so the fee is set at ten times higher than the actual administrative cost. A Tier 2 work visa for someone working in a “shortage occupation”, where the UK is desperate for workers, has an administrative cost of £127 but is charged at up to £928.

Most outrageous of all is the application fee for registering a child as British. The fee in 2020/21 is still over £1,000, but the actual cost is £372. The High Court found last year that the Home Office had failed to assess the best interests of children in setting this fee, although it remains in place for the time being.

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It is not just individual migrants who are being squeezed for fees. Employers who recruit foreign workers from outside the EU face 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, but is scheduled to kick in for new arrivals from the EU from the beginning of 2021.

The full list of old fees and new fees is below. We have omitted the usual column showing the change from last year because it is £0 in all cases.

1. Visas and applications made outside the UK

Fees category Current Fee New fee from 6 April 2020
Visit visa < 6 months £95 £95
Visit visa < 2 years 1 £361 £361
Visit visa < 5 years £655 £655
Visit visa <10 years £822 £822
Visiting academic – more than 6 months but no more than 12 months £190 £190
Private medical treatment visa – more than 6 months but not more than 11 months £190 £190
Short term student visa (up to 6 months) £97 £97
Short term student studying English language for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months £186 £186
Settlement £1,523 £1,523
Settlement – other dependant relative £3,250 £3,250
Settlement – refugee dependant relative £388 £388
Indefinite leave to enter the UK as the dependant of a member of the armed forces under Appendix Armed Forces to the Immigration Rules. £2,389 £2,389
Certificate of entitlement – (right of abode) £388 £388
Other visa £516 £516
Transit visa (direct airside transit) £35 £35
Transit visit visa (landside transit) £64 £64
Visa for the purpose of joining a ship or aircraft as a member of the crew of that ship or aircraft £64 £64
Transfer of Conditions (Vignette transfer) £154 £154
Representative of an overseas business £610 £610
Call out/ out of hours fee (per hour/part hour) £142 £142
Single-entry visa to replace a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) £154 £154
Receiving, preparing and forwarding documents £141 £141
Electronic Visa Waiver £30 £30
Innovator2 £1021 £1021
Start-up2 £363 £363
Global Talent – initial application2 £152 £152
Approval letter in respect of an initial application for Global Talent £456 £456
Global Talent – subsequent application2 £608 £608
Global Talent – dependant £608 £608

2. Points based system – applications made outside the UK

Fees category Current Fee New fee from 6 April 2020
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) 2 £1,021 £1,021
Tier 1 (Investor) £1,623 £1,623
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – dependants only £608 £608
Tier 1 (General) – dependant £1,021 £1,021
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) – dependants only £363 £363
Tier 1 (Post-study Work) – dependant £604 £604
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 2 £610 £610
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) – Graduate Trainee 2 £482 £482
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 2 £1,220 £1,220
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less 2 £464 £464
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years 2 £928 £928
Tier 4 £348 £348
Tier 5 2 £244 £244

3. Optional premium services outside the UK

Fees category Current Fee New fee from 6 April 2020
Priority visa service – settlement £573 £573
Priority visa service – non-settlement £220 £220
Super priority visa service £956 £956
User-pay visa application centre £55 £55
International Contact Centre – Email Service (per query) £5.48 £5.48
International Contact Centre – Telephone Helpline (per minute) £1.37 £1.37

4. Optional premium services in the UK

Fees category Current Fee New fee from 6 April 2020
Super Priority service £800 £800
The provision of an immigration officer to deliver any premium service, to a Government Department, relating to entry into or transit through the United Kingdom £57.33 £57.33
The provision of an immigration officer to deliver any premium service, relating to entry into or transit through the United Kingdom £77.40 £77.40
Expedited processing – Priority service £500 £500
Premium status checks and advice (Administrative Officer) (per minute)3 £0.80 £0.80
Premium status checks, advice or training (Executive Officer) (inside office hours) (per minute) 3 £0.88 £0.88
Premium status checks, advice or training (Executive Officer) (outside office hours) (per minute) 3 £1.10 £1.10
Premium status checks, advice or training (Higher Executive Officer) (inside office hours) (per minute) 3 £0.97 £0.97
Premium status checks, advice or training (Higher Executive Officer) (outside office hours) (per minute) 3 £1.23 £1.23
On-Demand service (Mobile Biometric Enrolment) (per hour per representative of the contractor providing the service) (per minute) £650 £650

5. Discretionary services at the border

Fees category Current Fee New fee from 6 April 2020
Registered Traveller (Adult) Yearly Subscription £50 £50
Registered Traveller (Child) Yearly Subscription £24 £24
Registered Traveller Registration of New Documents £20 £20
Fast Track – Heathrow terminals 2, 3 and 4 £5.20 £5.20
Fast Track – Other £3.00 £3.00

6. Applications made in the UK

Fees category Current Fee New fee from 6 April 2020
Indefinite leave to remain £2,389 £2,389
Leave to remain – Other £1,033 £1,033
Leave to enter for persons in the UK who are liable to immigration detention £1,033 £1,033
Visitor Extension main applicant & all dependants £993 £993
Transfer of Conditions (TOC) or Application for a document confirming identity and immigration or nationality status – limited leave to remain £161 £161
TOC or Application for a document confirming identity and immigration or nationality status – indefinite leave to remain £229 £229
Biometric residence card (issued under the EU Settlement Scheme) £56 £56
Biometric residence permit (BRP) / replacement BRP £56 £56
Processing an application which is subsequently rejected as invalid £25 £25
Processing of an application made under Appendix EU which is subsequently rejected as invalid – Adult £0 £0
Processing of an application made under Appendix EU which is subsequently rejected as invalid – Child £0 £0
Biometric enrolment £19.20 £19.20
Certificate of travel – adult £280 £280
Certificate of travel – child £141 £141
Convention travel document – adult £75 £75
Convention travel document – child £49 £49
Retired person of independent means £1,949 £1,949
Representative of an overseas business £704 £704
European residence document (registration certificate, document certifying permanent residence, residence card, accession resident card, derivative residence card, permanent residence card) £65 £65
Application for leave to remain where the application is made under Appendix EU – Adult £0 £0
Application for leave to remain where the application is made under Appendix EU – Child £0 £0
Innovator 2 £1,277 £1,277
Start-up 2 £493 £493
Global Talent – initial application2 £152 £152
Approval letter in respect of an initial application for Global Talent £456 £456
Global Talent – subsequent application2 £608 £608
Global Talent – dependant £608 £608
Naturalisation 4 £1,330 £1,330
Naturalisation British overseas territory citizens £1,000 £1,000
Nationality registration as a British citizen – adult 4 £1,206 £1,206
Nationality registration as a British citizen – child 5 £1,012 £1,012
The arrangement of a citizenship ceremony (including the administration of a citizenship oath and pledge at the ceremony). £80 £80
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
Nationality registration British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – adult £901 £901
Nationality registration – British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – child £810 £810
Renunciation of nationality £372 £372
Certificate of entitlement – (right of abode) £372 £372
Nationality review £372 £372
Status letter £250 £250
Non-acquisition letter £250 £250
Nationality correction to certificate £250 £250
Life in the UK test £50 £50
Nationality – supply of a certified copy of a notice, certificate, order or declaration £250 £250
Administrative review £80 £80

7. Points based system – applications made in the UK

Fees category Current Fee New fee from 6 April 2020
Tier 1 (General) – dependant £1,878 £1,878
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) 2 £1,277 £1,277
Tier 1 (Investor) £1,623 £1,623
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) – dependants only £493 £493
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – dependants only £608 £608
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 2 £704 £704
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) – Graduate Trainee 2 £482 £482
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 2 £1,408 £1,408
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less 2 £464 £464
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years 2 £928 £928
Tier 4 £475 £475
Tier 5 2 £244 £244

8. Points based system – sponsorship

Fees category Current Fee New fee from 6 April 2020
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (large sponsor) £25,000 £25,000
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (small sponsor) £8,000 £8,000
Premium sponsor scheme – Tier 4 £8,000 £8,000
Premium Change of Circumstances £200 £200
Tier 2 large sponsor licence (may also include Tier 4 and/or Tier 5) £1,476 £1,476
Tier 2 small sponsor licence (may also include Tier 4 and/or Tier 5 ) £536 £536
Tier 4 sponsor licence £536 £536
Tier 5 sponsor licence £536 £536
Add Tier 2 to an existing Tier 4 &/or Tier 5 licence (large sponsor) £940 £940
Basic compliance assessment (previously ‘Tier 4 Sponsor status’) £536 £536
Sponsor action plan £1,476 £1,476
Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) £199 £199
Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) £21 £21
Tier 4 Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) £21 £21
  1. Application fee of £95 where the applicant is a Chinese national applying in mainland China under the Chinese visa scheme.

  2. A Council of Europe Social Charter (CESC) discount of £55 applies for main applicant.

  3. Administrative Officer, Executive Officer and Higher Executive Officer are Civil Service staff grades. 

  4. The citizenship ceremony fee of £80 has been added to the application fee.

  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. 

This article is updated annually to reflect the coming year’s fees. Older versions of the article stated the fees applicable at the time, which for reference can be found at UK visa fees. The authoritative source for visa fees is the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulation 2018, as amended.

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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