UK visa and immigration fees frozen for 2020/21 and urgent news

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Social distancing in park, Docklands, London during coronavirus pandemic.

Sanwar Ali, workpermit.com

Sanwar Ali comment:

With the continuing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic surely there should be a significant reduction in UK visa related fees. These fees were unaffordable even before coronavirus. It is even more unaffordable now. UK fees are amongst the highest in the World.

Companies and individuals are more likely than ever before to be put into financial difficulties due to excessive Government fees. Even after the current emergency situation ends it may be some time before things are back to normal.

Currently there are over 60,000 people in the UK who have coronavirus and there have been more than 7,000 deaths.  This includes Boris Johnson the British Prime Minister who is still in hospital with coronavirus, but is apparently improving.

Please see an important announcement below.

Contact Home Office if your visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020

If you cannot leave the UK because of inability to travel or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19) you should complete the Home Office form to stay longer.  This includes people whose visa has already expired.

Some people who would usually have to apply from overseas for a longer term visa such as Tier 2 General can now apply from within the UK.  Please note that this only benefits people whose visa will expire by 31 May 2020.  This will not apply to people who come under the one year cooling off period requirement.  Further details in our recent news report.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) department of the Home Office has published its processing fees for 2020/21, with all charges remaining unchanged from 2019. The latest UKVI fees apply to visa and immigration applications made on or after 6 April, 2020.

Up until 2018, the fees charged by the Home Office to process UK visa, citizenship and settlement applications had been gradually increasing above inflation. However, for the past two years, fees have mostly been frozen – yet the Immigration Health Surcharge, described as a separate tax on immigration, has increased sharply and is set to rise again in October.

By the end of 2018, non-EU immigrants paid a health surcharge of £200 per year. This means that a spouse applying for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK would have been subject to immigration fees totalling £1,033 for leave that was valid for two years, with an additional £500 for the health surcharge.

Immigration health surcharge increases

In January 2019, the health surcharge was doubled and in October will increase to £624, with the rise included in March’s UK Budget. As a result, in just two years, even with UKVI fees frozen, the cost of a spouse ILR application will have increased by more than £1,000 from £1,533 to £2,593.

The Home Office claims that the Immigration Health Surcharge is invested into the NHS. However, the government agency is known to make a substantial profit from visa and immigration fees, drawing widespread criticism from immigrant advocates.

Despite UKVI fees remaining unchanged for 2020/21, a foreign national applying for UK ILR is subject to charges totalling £2,389. However, the cost for the Home Office to process an ILR application is just £243, which means that the agency is charging applicants 10 times the amount of the administrative cost.

Similarly, Tier 2 skilled worker visa fees for applicants set to fill a job role on the UK’s shortage occupation list, are charged up to £928. However, Home Office administrative costs amount to just £127.

Fees for child citizenship

Immigrant advocates claim that the most appalling of all UK immigration fees is the amount charged to register a child as British. The fee for 2020/21 still exceeds £1,000. However, Home Office administrative costs are £372.

In 2019, the High Court ruled that the fee was unlawful and that the Home Office had failed to account for the best interests of children when implementing the charge. Despite this ruling, the fee remains the same.

UK employers subject to immigration fees

It’s not only foreign nationals faced with Home Office fees, UK employers are also subject to immigration charges. The immigration skills charge is a £1,000 mandatory fee that employers have to pay, per worker, if they want to hire migrants from outside the EU.

The fee is much smaller for small business owners and universities at £364, while in some cases, exemptions from the fee do apply. With the new UK immigration system set to launch on 1 January, 2021, the immigration skills charge will then apply to the hiring of new workers from the EU.  However, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic there is increasing talk that Brexit will have to be delayed.

UK visa and immigration fees for 2020/21

We also have specific page covering UK visa fees under the Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 visa scheme. UK visa and immigration fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

1. Visas and applications made outside the UK

Fees category

Current Fee

New fee from 6 April 2020

Fee Change

Visit visa < 6 months

£95

£95

£0

Visit visa < 2 years - Footnote 1 below

£361

£361

£0

Visit visa < 5 years

£655

£655

£0

Visit visa <10 years

£822

£822

£0

Visiting academic - more than 6 months but no more than 12 months

£190

£190

£0

Private medical treatment visa - more than 6 months but not more than 11 months

£190

£190

£0

Short term student visa (up to 6 months)

£97

£97

£0

Short term student studying English language for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months

£186

£186

£0

Settlement

£1,523

£1,523

£0

Settlement - other dependant relative

£3,250

£3,250

£0

Settlement - refugee dependant relative

£388

£388

£0

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

£0

Certificate of entitlement - (right of abode)

£388

£388

£0

Other visa

£516

£516

£0

Transit visa (direct airside transit)

£35

£35

£0

Transit visit visa (landside transit)

£64

£64

£0

Visa for the purpose of joining a ship or aircraft as a member of the crew of that ship or aircraft

£64

£64

£0

Transfer of Conditions (Vignette transfer)

£154

£154

£0

Representative of an overseas business

£610

£610

£0

Call out/ out of hours fee (per hour/part hour)

£142

£142

£0

Single-entry visa to replace a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)

£154

£154

£0

Receiving, preparing and forwarding documents

£141

£141

£0

Electronic Visa Waiver

£30

£30

£0

Innovator - Footnote 2 below

£1021

£1021

£0

Start-up - Footnote 2 below

£363

£363

£0

Global Talent - initial application - Footnote 2 below

£152

£152

£0

Approval letter in respect of an initial application for Global Talent

£456

£456

£0

Global Talent - subsequent application - Footnote 2

£608

£608

£0

Global Talent - dependant

£608

£608

£0

2. Points based system - applications made outside the UK

Fees category

Current Fee

New fee from 6 April 2020

Fee Change

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) - Footnote 2 below

£1,021

£1,021

£0

Tier 1 (Investor)

£1,623

£1,623

£0

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) - dependants only

£608

£608

£0

Tier 1 (General) - dependant

£1,021

£1,021

£0

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) - dependants only

£363

£363

£0

Tier 1 (Post-study Work) - dependant

£604

£604

£0

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 - Footnote 2

£610

£610

£0

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) - Graduate Trainee - Footnote 2 below

£482

£482

£0

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 -  Footnote 2 below

£1,220

£1,220

£0

Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less - Footnote 2 below

£464

£464

£0

Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of more than three years - Footnote 2 below

£928

£928

£0

Tier 4

£348

£348

£0

Tier 5 - Footnote 2 below

£244

£244

£0

3. Optional premium services outside the UK

Fees category

Current Fee

New fee from 6 April 2020

Fee Change

Priority visa service - settlement

£573

£573

£0

Priority visa service - non-settlement

£220

£220

£0

Super priority visa service

£956

£956

£0

User-pay visa application centre

£55

£55

£0

International Contact Centre - Email Service (per query)

£5.48

£5.48

£0

International Contact Centre - Telephone Helpline (per minute)

£1.37

£1.37

£0

4. Optional premium services in the UK

Fees category

Current Fee

New fee from 6 April 2020

Fee Change

Super Priority service

£800

£800

£0

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

£0

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

£0

Expedited processing - Priority service

£500

£500

£0

Premium status checks and advice (Administrative Officer) (per minute) - Footnote 3 below

£0.80

£0.80

£0

Premium status checks, advice or training (Executive Officer) (inside office hours) (per minute) - Footnote 3 below

£0.88

£0.88

£0

Premium status checks, advice or training (Executive Officer) (outside office hours) (per minute) - Footnote 3 below 

£1.10

£1.10

£0

Premium status checks, advice or training (Higher Executive Officer) (inside office hours) (per minute) - Footnote 3 below.

£0.97

£0.97

£0

Premium status checks, advice or training (Higher Executive Officer) (outside office hours) (per minute) - Footnote 3 below

£1.23

£1.23

£0

On-Demand service (Mobile Biometric Enrolment) (per hour per representative of the contractor providing the service) (per minute)

£650

£650

£0

5. Discretionary services at the border

Fees category

Current Fee

New fee from 6 April 2020

Fee Change

Registered Traveller (Adult) Yearly Subscription

£50

£50

£0

Registered Traveller (Child) Yearly Subscription

£24

£24

£0

Registered Traveller Registration of New Documents

£20

£20

£0

Fast Track - Heathrow terminals 2, 3 and 4

£5.20

£5.20

-£0

Fast Track - Other

£3.00

£3.00

£0

6. Applications made in the UK

Fees category

Current Fee

New fee from 6 April 2020

Fee Change

Indefinite leave to remain

£2,389

£2,389

£0

Leave to remain - Other

£1,033

£1,033

£0

Leave to enter for persons in the UK who are liable to immigration detention

£1,033

£1,033

£0

Visitor Extension main applicant & all dependants

£993

£993

£0

Transfer of Conditions (TOC) or Application for a document confirming identity and immigration or nationality status - limited leave to remain

£161

£161

£0

TOC or Application for a document confirming identity and immigration or nationality status - indefinite leave to remain

£229

£229

£0

Biometric residence card (issued under the EU Settlement Scheme)

£56

£56

£0

Biometric residence permit (BRP) / replacement BRP

£56

£56

£0

Processing an application which is subsequently rejected as invalid

£25

£25

£0

Processing of an application made under Appendix EU which is subsequently rejected as invalid - Adult

£0

£0

£0

Processing of an application made under Appendix EU which is subsequently rejected as invalid - Child

£0

£0

£0

Biometric enrolment

£19.20

£19.20

£0

Certificate of travel - adult

£280

£280

£0

Certificate of travel - child

£141

£141

£0

Convention travel document - adult

£75

£75

£0

Convention travel document - child

£49

£49

£0

Retired person of independent means

£1,949

£1,949

£0

Representative of an overseas business

£704

£704

£0

European residence document (registration certificate, document certifying permanent residence, residence card, accession resident card, derivative residence card, permanent residence card)

£65

£65

£0

Application for leave to remain where the application is made under Appendix EU - Adult

£0

£0

£0

Application for leave to remain where the application is made under Appendix EU - Child

£0

£0

£0

Innovator - Footnote 2 below

£1,277

£1,277

£0

Start-up - Footnote 2 below

£493

£493

£0

Global Talent - initial application - Footnote 2 below

£152

£152

£0

Approval letter in respect of an initial application for Global Talent

£456

£456

£0

Global Talent - subsequent application - Footnote 2

£608

£608

£0

Global Talent - dependant

£608

£608

£0

Naturalisation 4

£1,330

£1,330

£0

Naturalisation British overseas territory citizens

£1,000

£1,000

£0

Nationality registration as a British citizen - adult - Footnote 4 below

£1,206

£1,206

£0

Nationality registration as a British citizen - child - Footnote 5 below

£1,012

£1,012

£0

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

£901

£901

£0

Nationality registration - British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – child

£810

£810

£0

Renunciation of nationality

£372

£372

£0

Certificate of entitlement - (right of abode)

£372

£372

£0

Nationality review

£372

£372

£0

Status letter

£250

£250

£0

Non-acquisition letter

£250

£250

£0

Nationality correction to certificate

£250

£250

£0

Life in the UK test

£50

£50

£0

Nationality - supply of a certified copy of a notice, certificate, order or declaration

£250

£250

£0

Administrative review

£80

£80

£0

7. Points based system - applications made in the UK

Fees category

Current Fee

New fee from 6 April 2020

Fee Change

Tier 1 (General) - dependant

£1,878

£1,878

£0

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) - Footnote 2 below

£1,277

£1,277

£0

Tier 1 (Investor)

£1,623

£1,623

£0

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) - dependants only

£493

£493

£0

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) - dependants only

£608

£608

£0

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 - Footnote 2 below

£704

£704

£0

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) - Graduate Trainee - Footnote 2 below

£482

£482

£0

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 - Footnote 2 below

£1,408

£1,408

£0

Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for a period of three years or less - Footnote 2 below

£464

£464

£0

Tier 2 (General) shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship

has been issued for a period of more than three years - Footnote 2 below

£928

£928

£0

Tier 4

£475

£475

£0

Tier 5 - Footnote 2 below

£244

£244

£0

8. Points based system - sponsorship

Fees category

Current Fee

New fee from 6 April 2020

Fee Change

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 - Tier 4

£8,000

£8,000

£0

Premium Change of Circumstances

£200

£200

£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

  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.

Workpermit.com can help with Tier 2 Visa Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 Visa

If you need help with a Tier 2 visa, or a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, including help with complying with your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence obligations, workpermit.com can help.

For more information and advice on Tier 2 Sponsor Licences, UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com