The cost of appointments at visa application centres in the UK has risen with no warning given to applicants or their representatives.
Sopra Steria, the outsourcing company that runs UK Visa and Citizenship Services, has hiked appointment costs from £60 to £69.99 for a standard appointment and from £125 to £135 for appointments on Saturdays or out of regular office hours.
Solicitors John Vassiliou in Edinburgh, Bryony Rest in Newcastle and John Atkins in Exeter have all reported higher fees when attempting to book appointments for clients over the past 48 hours, so it appears to be applicable nationwide rather than to any particular UKVCAS centre.
Reports of a sneaky UKVCAS fee increase for biometric appointments, can @SopraSteria_uk confirm and can @ukhomeoffice put out an official announcement so we’re not kept in the dark? £60 to £69.99 and £125 to £135 spotted by @BryonyRestDG and @johnabrief— John Vassiliou (@john_vassiliou1) January 16, 2020
Free appointments are available, in theory, at six “core service points” in major cities, but fees are charged at the other 50 application centres.
The Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association says that it has contacted the Home Office and Sopra Steria to ask for more information.