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Massive increase in family immigration fees for 2016-17

The Home Office first proposed and is now going ahead with a massive 25% increase in already high immigration application fees for families for the year 2016-17. The changes will be implemented on 18 March 2016 rather than the usual date of 6 April.

Family and spouse visas will in future cost £1,195 and the fee for Adult Dependant Relatives is going up to £2,676. The fee for a settlement application within the UK will increase to £1,875. British citizen naturalisation fees for adults will increase to £1,156 and child registration fees to £936, which also represent 25% increases.

immigration application checking service

By comparison, a large multinational company applying for a Tier 2 sponsor licence to enable it to recruit foreign workers needs to pay a fee of £1,476. This fee is not being increased.

Other fees for visit, study and work visas will increase by only 2% and a new 2 year visit visa for Chinese nationals is being introduced for only £85.

A new £25 fee for processing invalid applications is also to be introduced. At the moment, any fee paid for an invalid application is refunded. New premium rate phone lines for status checks (for landlords and employers, presumably) are also to be introduced costing as much as £1.23 per minute.

The increases are not unexpected (Immigration fees to increase further still). The Home Office is attempting to make immigration control self funding. The choices made by Ministers as to where the highest fees should fall are telling, though. High fees have a deterrent effect and are simply unaffordable for some families. It is clear that it is family migration, not business migration, the Government wants to reduce. Little did we know that family “values” is a reference to financial cost rather than morality.

You can see the full list of fees below.

Home Office Immigration & Nationality Charges 2016
Fees category Current Fee New fee from 18 March 2016 Fee Change
     
Visas / applications made outside the UK
Visit visa < 6 months £85 £87 £2
Visit visa < 2 years [note 1] £324 £330 £6
Visit visa < 5 years £588 £600 £12
Visit visa <10 years £737 £752 £15
Visiting academic – more than 6 months but no more than 12 months £162 £170 £8
Private medical treatment visa – more than 6 months but not more than 11 months £162 £170 £8
Short term student visa (up to 6 months) £85 £89 £4
Short term student child (up to 6 months) £85 £89 £4
Short term student studying English language for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months £162 £170 £8
Parent of a child at school (Up to 12 months) £324 £405 £81
Settlement £956 £1,195 £239
Settlement – other dependant relative £2,141 £2,676 £535
Settlement – refugee dependant relative £592 £472 -£120
Indefinite leave to enter the UK as the dependant of a member of the armed forces under Appendix Armed Forces to the Immigration Rules. £1,500 £1,875 £375
Certificate of entitlement – (right of abode) £324 £472 £148
Other visa £324 £405 £81
Transit visa – (direct airside transit) £30 £32 £2
Transit visit visa (landside transit) £56 £59 £3
Visa for the purpose of joining a ship or aircraft as a member of the crew of that ship or aircraft £56 £59 £3
Vignette transfer £122 £189 £67
Representative of an overseas business £535 £546 £11
Call out/ out of hours fee (per hour/part hour) £130 £130 £0
Single-entry visa to replace a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) £81 £189 £108
Receiving, preparing and forwarding documents £115 £115 £0
Electronic Visa Waiver n/a £15 n/a
 
Points based system – applications made outside the UK
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) [note 2] £944 £963 £19
Tier 1 (Investor) £1,500 £1,530 £30
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – initial application [note 2] £281 £287 £6
Approval letter from a competent body in respect of an initial application for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) £281 £287 £6
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – subsequent application [note 2] £562 £574 £12
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – dependant £562 £574 £12
Tier 1 (General) – dependant £944 £963 £19
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) [note 2] £335 £342 £7
Tier 1 (Post-study Work) – dependant £559 £570 £11
Dependant of a student under paragraphs 76-81 of the immigration rules £322 £328 £6
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] £564 £575 £11
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) – Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee & Skills Transfer [note 2] £445 £454 £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] £1,128 £1,151 £23
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less [note 2] £428 £437 £9
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years [note 2] £856 £873 £17
Tier 4 £322 £328 £6
Tier 5 [note 2] £225 £230 £5
 
Optional Premium Services outside the UK
Priority visa service – settlement £360 £450 £90
Priority visa service – non-settlement £120 £150 £30
Super priority visa service £600 £750 £150
User-pay visa application centre £59 £55 -£4
Passport pass-back £40 £42 £2
Visa application centre appointment – outside office hours £50 £63 £13
International Contact Centre – Webchat (per 10 minute session) £4 £4.00 £0
International contact centre – Helpline (per minute) 1.37 per minute 1.37 per minute £0
       
       
Home Office Immigration & Nationality Charges 2016
Fees category Current Fee New fee from 18 March 2016 Fee Change
     
Optional Premium Services in the UK
Application in person (premium service centre) includes the £100 appointment booking fee – inside office hours £400 £500 £100
Application in person (premium service centre) includes the £163 appointment booking fee – outside office hours n/a £563 n/a
Appointment booking fee (premium service centre) – inside office hours £100 £100 £0
Appointment booking fee (premium service centre) – outside office hours n/a £163 n/a
Provision of Immigration Officer at the border (hourly rate) £53.08 per hour £53.08 per hour £0
Priority postal service £300 £375 £75
Super premium service £7,000 £8,750 £1,750
Mobile premium service n/a £4,500 n/a
Application in person (super premium and mobile premium services) £400 £500 £100
Premium status checks and advice (Administrative Officer) (per minute)
[note 3]
n/a £0.80 n/a
Premium status checks, advice or training (Executive Officer) (inside office hours) [note 3] n/a £0.88 n/a
Premium status checks, advice or training (Executive Officer) (outside office hours) [note 3] n/a £1.10 n/a
Premium status checks, advice or training (Higher Executive Officer) (inside office hours) [note 3] n/a £0.97 n/a
Premium status checks, advice or training (Higher Executive Officer) (outside office hours) [note 3] n/a £1.23 n/a
 
Discretionary services at the border
Registered Traveller Service – yearly subscription £50 £50 £0
Registered Traveller Service – registration of initial documents confirming identity £20 £20 £0
Registered Traveller Service – registration of subsequent documents confirming identity £20 £20 £0
Fast Track – Heathrow terminals 1, 2, 3 and 4 £3.60 £3.60 £0
Fast Track – Other £3 £3 £0
       
Applications made in the UK
Indefinite leave to remain £1,500 £1,875 £375
Leave to remain – Other £649 £811 £162
Leave to enter for persons in the UK who are liable to immigration detention £649 £811 £162
Transfer of Conditions (TOC) or Application for a document confirming identity and immigration or nationality status – limited leave to remain £183 £223 £40
TOC or Application for a document confirming identity and immigration or nationality status – indefinite leave to remain £260 £308 £48
Biometric residence permit (BRP) / replacement BRP £45 £56 £11
Request for the provision of a copy of an immigration decision letter, correspondence or applications relating to an individual’s immigration or nationality status. n/a £0.16 per page n/a
Processing an application which is subsequently rejected n/a £25 n/a
In country biometric enrolment £19.20 £19.20 £0.00
Certificate of travel – adult £382 £218 -£164
Certificate of travel – child £244 £109 -£135
Convention travel document – adult £72 £72 £0
Convention travel document – child £46 £46 £0
Retired person of independent means £1,224 £1,530 £306
Representative of an overseas business £651 £664 £13
European residence document (registration certificate, document certifying permanent residence, residence card, accession resident card, derivative residence card, permanent residence card) £65 £65 £0
Work permit technical changes £25 £31 £6
Naturalisation [note 4] £1,005 £1,236 £231
Naturalisation British overseas territory citizens £740 £925 £185
Nationality registration as a British citizen – adult [note 4] £913 £1,121 £208
Nationality registration as a British citizen – child [note 5] £749 £936 £187
The arrangement of a citizenship ceremony (including the administration of a citizenship oath and pledge at the ceremony). £80 £80 £0
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 £0
Nationality registration – British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – adult £666 £833 £167
Nationality registration – British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – child £599 £749 £150
Renunciation of nationality £223 £272 £49
Certificate of entitlement – (right of abode) £223 £272 £49
Nationality review £80 £272 £192
Home Office Immigration & Nationality Charges 2016
Fees category Current Fee New fee from 18 March 2016 Fee Change
   
Applications made in the UK
Status letter £162 £198 £36
Non-acquisition letter £162 £198 £36
Nationality correction to certificate £162 £198 £36
Life in the UK test £50 £50 £0
Nationality – supply of a certified copy of a notice, certificate, order or declaration £162 £198 £36
Administrative review £80 £80 £0
 
Points based system – applications made in the UK
Tier 1 (General) – dependant £1,736 £1,771 £35
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) [note 2] £1,180 £1,204 £24
Tier 1 (Investor) £1,500 £1,530 £30
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) [note 2] £456 £465 £9
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – initial application [note 2] £281 £287 £6
Approval letter from a competent body in respect of an initial application for Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) £281 £287 £6
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – extension [note 2] £562 £574 £12
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – dependant £562 £574 £12
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] £651 £664 £13
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) – Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee & Skills Transfer [note 2] £445 £454 £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] £1,302 £1,328 £26
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less [note 2] £428 £437 £9
Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years [note 2] £856 £873 £17
Tier 4 £439 £448 £9
Tier 4 permission to change sponsor [note 6] £179 £224 £45
Tier 5 [note 2] £225 £230 £5
 
Points based system – sponsorship
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (large sponsor) £25,000 £25,000 £0
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (small sponsor) £8,000 £8,000 £0
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (large sponsor) for a period of 3 months n/a £6,250 n/a
Premium sponsor scheme – Tiers 2 & 5 (small sponsor) for a period of 3 months n/a £2,000 n/a
Premium sponsor scheme – Tier 4 £8,000 £8,000 £0
Tier 2 large sponsor licence (may also include Tier 4 and/or Tier 5) £1,476 £1,476 £0
Tier 2 small sponsor licence (may also include Tier 4 and/or Tier 5 ) £536 £536 £0
Tier 4 sponsor licence £536 £536 £0
Tier 5 sponsor licence £536 £536 £0
Add Tier 2 to an existing Tier 4 &/or Tier 5 licence (large sponsor) £940 £940 £0
Basic compliance assessment (previously ‘Tier 4 Sponsor status’) £536 £536 £0
Sponsor action plan £1,476 £1,476 £0
Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) £199 £199 £0
Tier 5 Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) £21 £21 £0
Tier 4 Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) £21 £21 £0
       
Note 1: Application fee of £87 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.
Note 6: applies only where current leave was granted under the rules in place between 31/3/2009 and 4/10/2009

Colin Yeo
Colin Yeo A barrister specialising in UK immigration law at Garden Court Chambers in London, I have been practising in immigration law for 15 years. I am passionate about immigration law and founded and edit the Free Movement immigration law blog.

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