The Home Office go through a process of changing their fees every year in around April. In recent times, Home Office fee changes have been dramatic, with a significant increase to the amounts that Applicants are being asked to pay, as can be seen from the table below.
The cost of a family making an application for indefinite leave to remain has increased from £750 in 2007 to £11,945 – that is an increase of more than 1,500%!
Part of the increased costs for applicants is due to the introduction of an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). This is paid by Applicants as a separate charge in addition to the application fee. The IHS was introduced in April 2015 and Applicants were charged £200 for each year of leave that they would be granted (£150 for students). In December 2018, this charge has doubled so Applicants now have to pay £400 for each year of leave granted (£300 for students).
A new way of submitting applications involving third party contractor Sopra Steria has also been introduced, and involves Applicants needing to book appointments at UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service Centres. Booking appointments at these service centres has in some cases also attracted new booking fees that represent an additional expense for Applicants.
With such dramatic increased fees charged by the Home Office, Applicants usually hold some trepidation whilst waiting for the Home Office announcement on new fees at this time of year. However, for 2019/2020, there is good news. Most application fees are staying the same for 2019/2020 as they were for the previous year. So a family applying for an extension or indefinite leave to remain will be charged the same basic application fee as they were at the start of 2019.
The main changes that have occurred from 29th March 2019 are set out below:
The most notable change is therefore the increased fee that is being charged by the Home Office for speeding up consideration of applications (an optional service).
It is welcome news that the Home Office have not attempted to further increase fees, which have been subject to substantial changes well above the rate of inflation for many years. In the uncertainties that are presented by Brexit, the decision to not increase fees for most types of applications, may be a reflection of a changing approach to immigration and the important role that immigration plays within UK society.
To find out more information about the fees that OTB Legal charge for applications, please visit our individual service pages. We appreciate the financial strain that can be placed on individuals and families who are paying for immigration applications and offer payment plans for our legal fees to help spread out the costs. https://otb.legal/our-services/