Unreasonable UK Immigration Fees by April 2016?

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It is shocking! The Parliament has released new fees which becomes effective in April 2016.

  • £3250 for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applications? Was £1500.
  • £2000 for Further Leave to Remains? Was £649.

It is known that ILR applications also known as Permanent Residency (PR) is currently at £1,500 but in April it will be a whopping £3,250 per person. This is rolled over across the board including those applying for entry clearance to British Embassies outside the UK with view to settlement. Kasama dito yung mga dependants na kukuhanin from the Philippines.

For example: Juan Dela Cruz is a naturalised British citizen and decided to apply for his family from the Philippines. He has a wife and 2 children. It means that he must prepare £9,750 (P682,000) for the visa fee alone. This does not include the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which is approx $965 US dollars per person.

Let us put this into perspective. I know some co-lawyers will argue that IHS fee could be refunded if visa is approved. But the problem is that you cannot proceed with printing the online application form without paying for the IHS first. Yes it will be refunded, God knows when.

Let’s do our math:

  • £9,750 (P682,000) Visa fees – for 3 persons
  • $2895 (P115,800) IHS fees – for 3 persons – assuming that there is no increase on this IHS.
  • Total of £11,397 (P797,800)

If we then add up the airfare which is approximately £800 x 3 = £2,400, the total cash out of Mr Juan Dela Cruz would be £13,797 or P965,790.

This is assuming that the application is approved.

But what if it gets refused? 😦 The so-called: “adding insult to injury” medical term occurs and Mr Dela Cruz is crippled with hefty bills due to legal and court fees.

Most lawyers believe that this is one way to deter people from applying if there are no merits in an application.

In Tagalog: “huwag ng mag-apply kung wala din naman talagang kabuluhan dahil sayang lang pagod, panahon at pera. “

There are many occasions where an application is going to be lodged for the sake of making an application just to frustrate the intention of the Immigration Rules.

But I personally understand the rationality of many for doing this because it becomes a sort of ‘protection’ for them from getting arrested and detained if there is a pending application. This is enshrined in paragraph 353A of the Immigration Rules which states:

“An applicant who has made further submissions shall not be removed before the Secretary of State…” 

In essence, a person even ‘TNTs’ can walk without fear because there is a pending application and until all the legal remedies are exhausted, he or she cannot be arrested, detained or deported or removed from the United Kingdom.

Having said this, it is advised that any application lodged is complete and all documentary evidence requirements are submitted for consideration of the Secretary of State for Home Department to avoid getting into a deep financial turmoil.

In my opinion, this fees are exorbitant and is beyond reach of ordinary people and only few could have the inner strength to apply for visa on their own lest they make a single error that would bring them into a big trouble.

For example: Alice De Castro, a domestic worker who used to apply for a visa normally pays £649 would now have to more than 3x to renew her visa as the fee would be £2,000 per person. What if she has a husband and 2 kids in the UK?

Let’s do our math

  • £2,000 x 4 = £8,000  – for 4 persons
  • £200 x 4 = £800 – for 4 persons – assuming that there is no increase on this IHS.
  • Total of £8,800 yearly renewal fee

The above examples are just rough estimation but at least it gives us a birds eye view of what’s to come. FYI.

For more details, please visit http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/177/pdfs/uksi_20160177_en.pdf

The material contained in this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Readers should not act on the basis of the information without taking professional advice.

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About the Author:

Don Magsino MBA is a graduate of Ateneo De Manila University Graduate School of Business. He attended Oxford Brookes University Law School in Oxford and is currently at University of Law in London. He is a qualified and a practicing Immigration Advocate in the United Kingdom. His mobile phone is 07446888377 / Direct Line: 0207 316 3027 Email is don@stanfordlawassociates.co.uk. His London office is located at 239 Kensington High Street, London W8 6SN. He is accredited by the Law Society in England and Wales and regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Level 3: highest level in immigration professionals. He has represented clients in the First-tier Tribunal, Immigration Detention Courts and Deportation and Bail Hearings and to the Upper Tribunal and won many complex and difficult cases in immigration law in the United Kingdom. Visit http://www.stanfordlawassociates.co.uk

 

 

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