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Visa appointment fees rise with no warning

Visa appointment fees rise with no warning

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.

The government website still lists the old cost, but the Sopra Steria website now says that “prices start at £69.99 per person”.

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.

CJ McKinney is Free Movement's editor. He's here to make sure that the website is on top of everything that happens in the world of immigration law, whether by writing articles, commissioning them out or considering pitches. CJ is an adviser on legal and policy matters to the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, and keeps up with the wider legal world as a contributor to Legal Cheek. Twitter: @mckinneytweets.