New UK marriage visa fees proposed
The government has announced proposals to make changes to the UK settlement visa application fees, including UK fiancee visa, UK marriage visa, UK unmarried (de facto) partner visa as well as further leave to remain (FLRm) and indefinite leave to remain (ILR) applications made from inside the UK. The announcement, made by the Minister of State for Immigration Mark Harper on 25 February 2013, was keen to ensure the fee increases were limited in most cases to a maximum of 3%. The idea is to keep all applications cost effective for everyone concerned. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the new UK marriage visa fees will take effect on 6 April 2013.
Settlement visa applications made from outside the UK:
The following five settlement visa categories are currently all available for £826, but they are slated to rise by £25 each to £851 effective 6 April 2013:
- The UK marriage (spousal) visa
- The UK visa for a fiance/fiancee
- The UK civil partnership visa
- The UK proposed civil partnership visa
- The UK unmarried partner visa (de facto)
Given the application processing fee that is currently paid in the above-stated migration categories, the increase of £25 represents a relatively small increase for those who are required to pay it.
Applications made from inside the UK:
The postal Further Leave to Remain (FLRm) applicants without dependents will pay an additional £17, taking the current £561 fee to £578. The postal Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) applicants without dependents will pay an additional £60, taking their fee from the current rate of £991 up to £1,051.
With regards to premium FLRm and ILR applications made in person at local UK Border Agency (UKBA) public enquiry offices, a new proposal has been put forward to allow the total fee to include an additional charge of £375 per person. This means that those applying in person will be required to pay the relevant amount, plus the £375 fee on top. The individual £375 fee includes the appointment fee of £100. If the applicant fails to attend their local public enquiry office, the appointment fee will not be refunded. Dependents will be charged a separate fee in all cases.
A number of other changes have been laid down, including the proposal to charge a processing fee for in country applications made under EEA regulations, i.e. 5-year residence card for spouses and partners of eligible EEA nationals. These applications are currently processed free of charge. However, the government has proposed the introduction of a £55 processing fee. The Immigration Regulations will be amended later this year to introduce the new fee policy.
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