Following last year’s below-inflation fee increases in some areas, this year, the UK government has kept most of the fees for visa applications the same, which is welcome news for those planning to apply for visas in the near future.
The New Fees for 2023
For the first time in several years, the vast majority of fees have not increased, although most are already at an extremely high level. The only changes, which came into effect on the 13th of April 2023, are affecting applications made from outside the UK.
For applications from abroad, there used only to be the option to choose a priority service, costing £573 for Settlement Applications and £250 for Non-Settlement Applications, which moved you up the queue but didn’t guarantee that the application would be decided on a specific timescale.
The Home Office has now added a Super Priority option to applications from outside the UK, similar to those being made from inside the UK. The Super Priority Service will cost £926 and enables applicants to expect a decision within the next working day, although this is not guaranteed.You can see the full list of new fees here.
The UK Home Office stated, when they increased the fees in 2016, that the increases would reduce the taxpayer contribution towards the system and ensure that the border, immigration and citizenship system is self-funded by those who make use of the services.
Although the visa application fees have not increased by that much in the years since then, the Immigration Health Surcharge has risen from £200 a year in 2018 to £624 a year by the end of 2020. This has meant that the overall price of making the visa application has risen significantly.
If you had applied for a Spouse Visa from abroad in 2018, it would have cost £1,523 for the application fee and £200 per year for the IHS, making a total of £500 for the IHS and an overall cost of £2023 for the application plus IHS.
From the 6th of April 2022 the application fees cost £1,538 for the application fee and a total of £1,872 (£624 x 3) for the IHS fee, making an overall total of £3,410. This represents a huge increase in costs of £1,387, a 69% increase of the 2018 figure.
Although the fees have not increased this year, there is still a huge financial burden on families and those looking to settle in the UK. This will not have been helped by the high inflation and rises in the cost of living already affecting most families.
Cross Border Legal Solicitors Ltd is a UK Solicitor law firm regulated by under the Solicitor Regulations Authority. It is Headed by Mr Tito Mbariti, a UK Immigration and Human Rights Solicitor practising lawyer and member of the Law Society of England and Wales.