New UK settlement marriage visa fees come into force
Increased fees for UK marriage visas came into effect on 6 April 2013, having been first announced in February by the Minister of State for Immigration. The increases vary between different types of visas, the rises on average are a maximum of 3%, although the increase in some postal applications made from within the UK is higher. Price rises are different depending on the point of origin of the application and so it is important that applicants read the revised fee schedule carefully.
UK settlement visa applications which are made from outside the UK have risen in price by £25 to £851 – the list includes UK marriage (spousal) visa applications as well as those for engaged couples (fiancee visa), civil partnerships – both existing and proposed, and also the unmarried partner visa, sometimes also known as a de facto partner visa. Applications made and paid for online using the UK Border Agency (UKBA) payment facility before 6 April 2013 are not subject to the higher fees.
There are a number of applications that are made from inside the UK, and these include postal Further Leave to Remain (FLRm) applications for those with no dependants, which now will cost £578. This represents a £17 increase, in line with the 3% general rise. A larger percentage rise has been applied to the postal Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR); applicants with no dependants will now pay £1051, up £60 from £991.
Charges for those making in-person premium FLRm and ILR applications at local UK Border Agency public enquiry offices (PEO) have a rather more complex fee structure now in effect. An additional charge of £375 has been added to any applicable fee. This additional amount includes an appointment fee of £100 which is strictly non-refundable if the applicant fails to turn up. Dependants of applicants will also be liable for a separate fee.
Other changes are also coming into force for UK visas, bringing some applications which were previously free into the fee-paying list. There will now be a £55 processing fee for in-country applications for a 5 year residence card for spouses and partners of eligible EEA (European Economic Area) nationals.
Anyone with any questions about fees and who has to pay them should contact an immigration specialist for more help and advice. There is no increase for any applications which were initiated and paid for before 6 April 2013, so anyone who is waiting for a decision need not be concerned that they will be asked to pay more.
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