Details of the services we provide in relation to immigration matters
We advise in relation to both business and personal immigration matters, with the exception that we do not advise in relation to asylum, refugee or human rights applications. We also advise in relation to applying to become a British citizen.
When we provide you with a fee proposal for immigration work, we will provide details of the scope of work, including a breakdown of the aspects upon which we are advising and those which are excluded from our scope. Each matter is different so once we have a better understanding of your matter or application, we can provide you with a fee quote and details of the scope of work in relation to your matter.
We have provided an indication of our fees below, based on a “typical” immigration matter in so far as this is possible. We have assumed that our services would include the following key stages:
- Taking initial instructions;
- Assessing you and your dependants’ (if applicable) eligibility to apply for your particular type of application;
- Advising on the documentation/information required for the application;
- Reviewing the documentation and advising on any ‘gaps’ in the evidence and any further documentation required;
- Reviewing an initial draft of the application form and amending if necessary;
- Preparing a detailed cover letter to the Home Office in support of the application and submitting the application bundle to the Home Office (where appropriate);
- Liaising by email and brief phone calls; and
- Checking that the visa/immigration application or the British nationality application documentation has been issued correctly and a note of advice afterwards to the individual regarding their immigration/British nationality status.
There is no “standard” time frame for an immigration application as every immigration application has its own characteristics which will impact upon timings. For example, the time taken depends on a number of factors, including the type of application, whether you are applying in the UK or from overseas, your own previous immigration history, whether you have any criminal convictions, the time of year when you submit your application and the method of application, including whether you pay extra to the UK immigration authorities for a priority service. There may also be unforeseen delays, for example where application centres are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please note that the fees mentioned below do not include any immigration application fees or other additional expenses. We have provided details below of the likely expenses in relation to an immigration application.
Overview of fees
No one immigration application is exactly the same as another – the process will depend upon a number of factors, including the type of application, your own personal circumstances and where you are applying from. Our fees will reflect the particular requirements of the immigration application in question and so we cannot provide a “typical” fee for immigration matters. In light of this, we cannot provide a reliable estimate of the cost of us helping you until we have details of your circumstances. That said, our fees for straightforward immigration applications start from around £2,500 plus VAT. Our fees for dealing with a straightforward immigration application, such as straightforward spouse applications, straightforward applications to become a British citizen, indefinite leave to remain applications, ancestry applications and student applications usually tend to be in the region of £3,000 to £5,500 plus VAT and any additional expenses.
However, where such applications are less straightforward they are more likely to cost in the region of £4,500 - £7,500 plus VAT and disbursements.
Finally, we also advise in relation to Investor initial and extension applications, Start Up and Innovator applications. These types of applications are generally more complex and our fees for these types of application are typically in the region of £10,000 to £25,000 plus VAT, depending on the complexity of the matter and the type of application.
Whatever the nature of the immigration or nationality application or advice, there are certain complicating factors that are likely to increase costs. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
- There are a number of dependants;
- You or your dependants (as applicable) do not meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules, EEA Regulations, the EU Settlement Scheme or relevant British Nationality Act, depending on the particular circumstances of the matter;
- You or your dependants (as applicable) meet the relevant immigration, EEA rules, EU Settlement Scheme or nationality requirements but there are complexities around proof or evidence of this;
- There is a requirement to attend meetings or have lengthy discussions on the phone;
- The documents are not sent promptly and we have to chase for these or there is a lengthy delay between first instructions and submission of the application;
- You or your dependants (as applicable) have an adverse immigration history or criminal convictions;
- Required documentation, for example from previous employers, cannot be obtained;
- Children applying are not the biological children of the adult applicant or sponsor (as appropriate);
- There are particular time constraints involved with the application;
- Technical difficulties with the Home Office application and/or payment systems or appointment booking process.
At the start of any immigration matter, we will consider your circumstances and the work required in relation to it. We then provide an individual fee proposal which takes into account the actual circumstances relating to your matter and reflects any complexities we are aware of at the outset.
To the extent that unexpected complications arise during the progress of the matter, we will inform you of this and will discuss the potential consequences of such complications.
Our fee proposals are based upon the estimated hours it is likely to take to provide the advice or complete the application. Our hourly rates vary according to the nature of a particular engagement and the seniority of the lawyers. In considering pricing we take into account many factors such as your objectives and the complexity, novelty, urgency, value and risk of a project. Our hourly rates are as follows (these are reviewed in May each year):
Rates (exclusive of VAT)
Rates (inclusive of VAT at 20%)
£360 to £525
£432 to £630
£300 to £410
£360 to £492
£245 to £385
£294 to £462
£185 to £325
£222 to £390
Paralegals and Assistant Solicitors :
£155 to £255
£186 to £306
£140 to £190
£168 to £228
Where appropriate, we may offer a fixed fee option (particularly for assistance with specific immigration or nationality applications). Where fixed fees are offered, the scope of the work to be carried out and any assumptions and exclusions will be clearly set out and will be easy to compare against the time spent option for the same work.
In some cases we may offer you the option of a success fee. Essentially this means that you would pay more if your application is successful but we would reduce our fees by an agreed amount if your application is unsuccessful.
When providing fee proposals, our fees are stated to be exclusive of VAT and so VAT (where applicable, currently at 20%) will be due in addition. For clarity the table above shows our rates without VAT and with VAT.
In most cases, if you are resident overseas you will not be required to pay VAT.
During the course of the matter, in addition to our fees, certain other expenses (known as “disbursements”) are likely to be payable. In some cases we may agree to handle the payment of disbursements on your behalf to make things simpler for you but we would then pass on these costs to you.
Examples of likely disbursements in relation to a typical immigration matter are set out below.
- Home Office fees for immigration and nationality applications made from within the UK (These can be found at the following links https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-for-citizenship-applications);
- Fees for Immigration and Nationality applications made from outside of the UK can be found at the following link https://visa-fees.homeoffice.gov.uk);
- Translation fees;
- TB testing fees (only applicable if applying from certain countries);
- Fees for English Language tests or having an academic qualification assessed by UK NARIC;
- Life in the UK test fee;
- Citizenship ceremony fee;
- User pay services offered at overseas visa application centres;
- Priority service fees for applications submitted in the UK;
- Appointment fees charged by Sopra Steria in relation to applications submitted in the UK;
- The Immigration Health Surcharge fee;
- The Immigration Skills Charge; and
- Courier and postage fees.
Qualification and experience
Our team has extensive experience in immigration.
All members of our immigration team are specialist lawyers in this area and work is always supervised by one of the partners or the Managing Associate in the team – please click the link on the team member to the right or below (on mobile) for details of the team member who may work on your matter. From time to time members of the team may be assisted by a trainee – details of the particular members of the team dealing with your matter will be provided to you as and when you choose to instruct us.
This page was last amended on 17 December 2020.