Category: Latest News

UK Visa Fees

UK Visa Fees from 6 April 2018

A number of changes to the UK visa fees will come into effect from 6 April 2018.

The key changes to the Home Office fees are outlined below:

  • Increased UK visa fees on growth routes (work, study and visit) by 4%.
  • Increased fees on most non-growth routes (nationality, settlement, family) and most associated premium services by 4%.
  • The fee for the overseas optional ‘Priority Visa’ service for entry clearance will increase by 15%.

The government has not made any changes to fees under the sponsorship system. UK visa fees for entry clearance to enter the Channel Islands and Isle of Man will rise in line with fee changes seen in the rest of the UK.

UK visa fees for all applications made from outside and within the UK



Outside / Inside UK before 6 April 2018


Outside / Inside UK after 6 April 2018

Tier 1 Investor £1,561 £1,623
Tier 1 Entrepreneur £982 / £1,228 £1,021 / £1,277
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur £349 / £474 £363 / £493
Tier 2 – 3 years £587 / £677 £610 / £704
Tier 2 – 5 years £1,174 / £1,354 £1,110 / £1,408
Sponsorship License Application  £536 £536
Tier 4 £335 / £457 £348 / £475
Tier 5 £235 £244
Family Settlement (Spouse Visa) £1,464 / NA £1,523 / NA
FLR (FP, O, M, S) NA / £993 NA / £1,033
MN-1 (Registration child – British Citizenship) £973 £1,012
AN (Naturalisation – British Citizenship) £1,282 £1,330
Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) £1,464 / £2,297 £1,523 / £2,389
Other dependant relative £3,250 / NA £3,250 / NA
Visit visa – short up to 6 months £89 / NA £93 / NA
Visit visa – long up to 2 years £337 / NA £350 / NA
Visit visa – long up to 5 years £612 / NA £636 / NA
Visit visa – long up to 10 years

£767 / NA

 £798 / NA
EEA Applications (all forms)

free / £65

free / £65

A full list of the new UK Immigration, Visa and Nationality Fees can be found on

Other relevant changes and updates

NHS Immigration Health Surcharge will increase to £400 a year in 2018

New Fees 2018: British Passport Applications

Deadline for employers (Tier 2 sponsors) – 5 April 2018

New Online Application System launched for Tier 2 migrants and PBS dependants

Changes to the Immigration Rules 2018

Immigration Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case, applicable fees and relevant immigration law requirements, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0)20 7822 8535, Mobile/Viber: 074 6338 2838, by e-mail: or via our online appointment booking form.

New Immigration, Visa and Nationality Fees 2018-19

Legislation was laid in Parliament on 16 March 2018 which sets out a number of changes to immigration, visa and nationality fees.

These changes will come into effect on 6 April 2018.

Careful consideration is given to individual fees to help reduce the funding contribution from UK taxpayers, whilst continuing to provide and invest in a service that remains attractive to our customers and competitive with other countries.

The key changes are outlined below:

  • Increased fees on growth routes (work, study and visit) by 4%.
  • Increased fees on most non-growth routes (nationality, settlement, family) and most associated premium services by 4%.
  • The fee for the overseas optional ‘Priority Visa’ service for entry clearance will increase by 15%.
  • For the fourth year running, there will be no any changes to fees under the sponsorship system.
  • Fees for entry clearance to enter the Channel Islands and Isle of Man will rise in line with fee changes seen in the rest of the UK.

A full list of the new fees can be found on

Inappropriate behaviour of Immigration Officers during enforcement visit supported by Upper Tribunal Judgement

Appeal against removal directions on the grounds of undergoing a sham marriage is dismissed after the Upper Tribunal judge finds the claims about inappropriate behaviour of Immigration Officers (IOs) during an enforcement visit unfounded.

The Appellant is an Egyptian national entered into a marriage with an EEA national whilst overstaying in the UK after his 6-month visitor visa expired. The Appellant had removal directions issued against him after an enforcement visit to the place he was temporarily residing at.

It was alleged by the Appellant that the IOs were behaving in a threatening manner and did not follow the procedure required by law, namely the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) requirement to give the Appellant a criminal caution.

The Respondent disputed the allegations about the inappropriate behaviour of the IOs and argued that PACE guidance did not apply in the present case because the situation concerned an administrative rather than criminal procedure.

Having reviewed the evidence available, the Judge found that the Appellant’s claims and criticisms of the IOs’ conduct to be unreliable, and supported the Respondent’s argument that PACE guidelines did not apply to the present case, thus ruling that the IOs did not breach PACE by failing to give the Appellant a criminal caution.

The distinction between criminal and civil proceedings was crucial to uphold to avoid the confusion between the two very different sets of rules.

The case, nevertheless, is very helpful at reminding us about the procedure the IO need to follow when making an enforcement visit. It notes that the Secretary of State made a Codes of Practice Direction in 2013, which states that:

  • A person, suspected of an offence, must be cautioned before any questions about an offence are put to them. There is no need to be cautioned, however, if questions refer to other necessary purposes, such as obtaining information by a statutory requirement.
  • The person must be told that they are not under arrest and informed about how they may obtain legal advice.
  • The caution must be in the following terms: “You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”
  • The caution should not be given when the questioning is intended to establish basic facts such as identity, however the purpose of questioning must be identified.
  • If a reasonable suspicion that the person in question is liable to be held in immigration detention arises out of known information, person’s actions or information discovered during the enquiry, and the person must be arrested, they must be given the administrative explanation or criminal caution.
  • The arrest must be necessary to progress the case
    • It is unlikely that arrest would be appropriate if the person’s immigration status is known and no progression on the case will be made by arresting them.
  • The person under arrest must be informed that:
    • They are under arrest and not free to leave;
    • The reason for the arrest;
    • Why it is necessary to arrest them.
  • Where IOs use criminal powers to make an arrest they must comply with PACE
    • To have a criminal power of arrest, IOs must have a genuine intention to prosecute the individual and have reasonable grounds to suspect that the person has committed or attempted to commit a criminal offence
  • Where IOs use administrative powers to make an arrest, they must notify the person of their detention and reasons for it as per Immigration Act 1971.

Home Office launched new online application system for Tier 2 migrants and PBS dependants

On 6 March 2018, the Home Office announced launch of a new online application system – Access UK which is now available to Tier 2 customers and PBS dependants.

The new service will enable workers and their partner or child to follow a more modern, intuitive and straight forward visa application process and, for the first time, they will apply to come to the UK using the same application system as those seeking to remain in the UK for work.

The benefits of Access UK include:

  • A shorter application form, with questions ordered based on customer feedback
  • Relevant questions based on a customer’s previous answers
  • The application fee displayed in the relevant currency
  • The ability to apply, book a Visa Application Centre (VAC) appointment, and pay for the relevant service standard seamlessly
  • The ability to review, edit and download a partially completed application at any point before submission
  • Availability on mobile devices

Tier 2 Applications

Visa4UK will remain available to customers for now, however, all Tier 2 visa customers and their dependants should now be encouraged to use Access UK to complete and submit their application. The Home Office will make a separate announcement before Visa4UK is turned off, but it is important that new applications are submitted through the new system now.

It must be noted that the main guidance page will continue to link to Visa4uk for a short period so it’s important that the direct links above are used. This will take applicants directly to Access UK.

Other applications

For the detailed information and FAQs on Access UK for visit visa, Short-term student, Tier 4 (Student), Tier 2 (WORK), Tier 5 (work) and Points Based System Dependants please click here.


UK Visa Cap for Skilled Non-EU Workers has been Hit for Third Month in a Row

What does this mean for you?

For the third month running, the cap for Tier 2 workers has been reached, indicating a trend that could signify a permanent change to the government’s approach. This means that many skilled workers from outside the EU will not receive a certificate of sponsorship to obtain their visa until the number of applications decreases.

How can we help?

This does not mean you are stuck. We can explore a number of options and offer you a bespoke solution based on identifying your needs and assisting your workers to obtain their visas. Contact us today for more information.

Deadline for sponsors

The deadline for informing the Home Office about the number of unrestricted certificates for the period of 6 April 2018 to 5 April 2019 is approaching. If you are 1) intending to promote or extend the visas of any Tier 2 employees, 2) looking to employ a worker from abroad with a Tier 1 or Tier 4 visa, or 3) looking to be sponsor a worker under Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer, you will need to apply for a fixed number of unrestricted certificates by 5 April.

Please note that the Home Office can revoke, suspend or downgrade your licence if you provide incorrect information. If you are having trouble understanding how this works, or need assistance with the process, please contact us.

Get in touch

We are keen to get feedback from clients and understand what effects regulatory changes are having on your business. Please email us with any feedback or anecdotal evidence and we can lobby the government with the help of ILPA.

NHS Immigration Health Surcharge will increase to £400 a year

On 5 February 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care announced about the government’s plans to double the NHS immigration health surcharge paid by temporary migrants to the UK.

The surcharge will rise from £200 to £400 per year. The discounted rate for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from £150 to £300.

The annual charge is paid by people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are seeking to live in the UK for 6 months or more to work, study or join family.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating surcharge payers. Projections suggest that the increased charges may provide around £220m extra every year, with this money going to NHS services.

Current NHS Immigration Health Surcharge Requirements

Some immigration applications are subject to the payment of the immigration health surcharge (IHS).


The applicants who are making immigration application online or through a premium service centre, have pay the IHS as part of the application or when book an appointment.

If application is made by post, healthcare surcharge is paid online before the application is sent (the IHS reference number must be indicated in the application form).

Amount of NHS Immigration Health Surcharge

  • £150 per year for a student or Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa, eg £300 for a 2-year visa
  • £200 per year for all other visa and immigration applications, eg £1,000 for a 5-year visa
  • Dependants usually need to pay the same amount as the main applicants.

Only half of the yearly amount should be paid if the application includes part of a year that is less than 6 months. The migrant will have to pay for a whole year if the application includes part of a year that is more than 6 months.

For more details about the IHS, calculator and refunds please visit the Home Office’s page.

Home Office introduces changes to British passport application fees

On 29 January 2018, the Home Office has outlined plans to introduce different passport fees for online and postal applications as part of its push to increase the use of online services and its ambition to create a self-sustainable immigration and borders system.
The proposals, which remain subject to Parliamentary approval, would mean the money collected through fees will contribute to the cost of processing British passport holders as they travel in and out of the country, shifting the burden for paying for these services away from the taxpayer – millions of whom do not currently hold passports. These reforms are part of plans by the Home Office to invest £100 million on border security and infrastructure next year.
According to to the Home Office’s statement, the fee will also pay for the costs associated with issuing UK passports and for consular support provided to British nationals abroad.
Under the plans, online applications, which are available to all UK-based applicants, will increase in line with inflation, taking the total from £72.50 to £75.50 for adults and £49 for children.
Postal applications will increase by £12.50 to £85 for adults and £58.50 for children, reflecting the increased costs of processing postal applications compared to online applications.
The changes are expected to come into force on 27 March 2018.
The Home Office assured that these proposals are unrelated to the announcement that the colour of the UK passport will be changing in 2019, which will be delivered at no additional cost.

Home Office issues official guidance on freezing immigrants’ bank accounts

On 20 December 2017, the Home Office published a guidance for its officers on when to apply for a court order freezing the bank account of the illegal immigrants. The full text of the guidance is available online: Immigration Act 2014 Code of Practice: Freezing Orders (Bank Accounts Measures)

The purpose of this Code is to specify the factors the immigration caseworkers should consider when deciding whether to apply for a freezing order under section 40C(2) of the Immigration Act 2014 as amended by the Immigration Act 2016.

The Immigration Act 2016 includes measures to prevent known illegal migrants from operating banks accounts. To bring these measures into force the Immigration Act 2016 gives HM Treasury powers through secondary legislation regulations, which set out:

  • what type of accounts banks must check;
  • how frequently banks must check;
  • how banks must notify the Home Office about accounts held by illegal migrants, and what the notifications must contain;
  • how the Secretary of State for the Home Office will respond;
  • and how banks will respond regarding their compliance.

It also gives the Home Office powers to bring into effect a Code of Practice on orders to freeze accounts.

According to the guidance, the following factors, as referenced in paragraphs 26-33, should be taken into account when you consider whether to refer a case to Immigration Enforcement Officers for application of a freezing order:

Threshold: The Home Office will not usually consider applying for a freezing order if the level of funds in a person’s combined bank accounts is less than £1,000.

Harm:  A decision on whether to apply for a freezing order should take into account the level of harm which an individual is reasonably suspected to pose, and the risk involved.

Criminality: Any matches involving criminal activity should be referred to relevant Immigration Enforcement Officers. However, even in those cases where the offending has been serious it might not be appropriate to freeze a person’s account(s) if the offender will be leaving the country promptly at the end of their sentence under an early release scheme.

The Immigration Enforcement Officers will also consider the person’s previous record of immigration offending, level of co-operation with the immigration system, and whether any notable difficulty has been encountered in effecting their removal.

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and relevant immigration law requirements, please contact our immigration lawyers on 020 7822 8535 or via our online appointment booking form.

New rules introduce right for settlement for Tier 2 (General) migrants with 60-day gaps between jobs

On 7 December 2017, the Home Office laid the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC309 which come into force from 2018.

A very important amendment has been made so that Tier 2 Migrants are no longer required to have been continuously employed throughout the qualifying period to be eligible for settlement. The provision is unnecessary as a Tier 2 migrant who is no longer working for their Sponsor is subject to curtailment.

According to the statement of changes, the following paragraph 245AAA(b) of the Immigration Rules is deleted:

(b) Except for periods when the applicant had leave as a Tier 1 (General) Migrant, a Tier 1 (Investor) Migrant, a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Migrant or a highly skilled migrant, the applicant must have been employed in the UK continuously throughout the five years, under the terms of their Certificate of Sponsorship, work permit or in the employment for which they were given leave to enter or remain, except that any breaks in employment in which they applied for leave as a Tier 2 Migrant, or, under Tier 5 Temporary Worker (International Agreement) Migrant as a private servant in a diplomatic household, where in the latter case they applied to enter the UK before 6 April 2012, to work for a new employer shall be disregarded, provided this is within 60 days of the end of their employment with their previous employer or Sponsor.

This change means that those sponsored Tier 2 migrants who had a break between jobs of more than 60 days could not apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (settlement) after five years.

Under the current rules, a sponsored employee can only apply to renew Tier 2 (General) leave. However, the maximum period of leave under Tier 2 (General) is limited to a maximum of 6 years. Thus, migrants who had more than 60 days between jobs had no other choice than to leave the country after 6 years, and technically were deprived of a right to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

This change shall take effect on 11 January 2018.

However, if an application has been made for entry clearance or leave to enter or remain before 11 January 2018, the application will be decided in accordance with the Immigration Rules in force on 10 January 2018.

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your settlement application and relevant immigration requirements, please contact our immigration lawyers on 020 7822 8535 or via our online appointment booking form.

New Rules: Absences for Point-Based System (PBS) Dependants applying for Settlement

One of the most notable changes relates to the absences of the dependants of the PBS migrants (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 visas).

The requirement to have had absences from the UK of no more than 180 days per year in order to qualify for settlement, which currently applies to main applicants, is being extended to partners of Points-Based System Migrants.

This crucial change will affect those partners applying for settlement whose leave was granted following an application made after 11 January 2018.

To ensure that this requirement does not have retrospective effect, only absences from the UK during periods of leave granted under the rules in place from 11 January 2018 will count towards the 180 days.

The maximum 180 days absences requirement is waived for absences when applicants have assisted with the Ebola crisis in West Africa. This provision is being widened to include assisting with any national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis.

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your settlement application and immigration requirements, please contact our immigration lawyers on 020 7822 8535 or via our online appointment booking form.