Fewer increases to immigration fees this year

Fewer increases to immigration fees this year

The Home Office published its updated list of application fees, which apply from 29 March 2019 onwards. Going against the trend of recent years, there have not been significant annual increases across the board and most immigration application fees remain unchanged.

Increase to the Super Priority service fee and (re)introduction of the priority service.

The most significant fee increase is to the Super Priority service fee (next working day processing) as the fee for this service has risen from £610 to £800. 

However, there is also now a Priority service for most applications, which costs £500. Applications submitted on the Priority service should be processed within 5 to 10 working days.

Comment

The jump in the Super Priority service fee is notable given that the service standard has actually dropped from a same-day decision to a decision on the next working day. Teething problems with the new in-country application process have also meant that, in practice, it can take longer for the applicant to receive the decision.

Despite other fees generally remaining unchanged, the doubling of the Immigration Health Surcharge in January 2019 has significantly increased the overall cost for many immigration applications. The Immigration Health Surcharge fee increased from £200 to £400 per individual for each year of the length of a visa. As a working example, the health surcharge fees for a family of four applying for a 3-year visa under Tier 2 (General) are now £4,800 (up from £2,400).

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