The newly published fees list on the government website shows that there is no change in application fees from the previous year. This means that for the third financial year in a row, application fees are for the most part frozen. However, there are some changes in application costs that are worth noting.
The Immigration Health Surcharge, a fee charged on top of the majority of application fees, has risen significantly in recent years. When the charge was introduced on 6 April 2015, the charge was £200 a year. In 2018, this fee doubled to £400 and last year, it rose to £624. As an example, this means that an applicant applying for 30 months further leave to remain as a spouse can end up paying an application fee of £1033, £19.20 for biometric processing and an added £1560 for the Immigration Health Surcharge, a total of £2612.20 before extra charges such as biometric appointment fees are factored in.
There is a lower IHS fee of £470 for a student or Youth Mobility Scheme visa and those who are under the age of 18 at the time of application.
In applications where the IHS is required, failure to pay would result in an application being invalid (paragraph 34(4) of the Immigration Rules).
There has also been a major development this year in the legal challenge to the Home Office’s fees for registering a child as a British citizen. On 18 February 2021 the Court of Appeal ruled that the fee of £1012 set by the Home Office for applications to register children as British is unlawful. This decision means that the Home Office should reconsider the fee for this type of application, fully assessing the impact of the fee upon children. The organisation that brought the case, PRCBC, has been given permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on their argument that the law does not allow such a high fee. You can find the Court of Appeal’s judgment here. Currently the fee remains at £1012 whilst it is being reviewed by the Home Office.
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