The UK government has made an important announcement relating to UK visa, immigration and nationality applications. UK fiancee, partner and spousal visa application processing fees are set to rise in the coming months. A number of new premium services will also be introduced should the proposals be approved by Parliament. Most of the changes are set to come into effect as of 6 April 2014, whereas some overseas premium services will see fees increase as of 31st of March.
Most of the immigration application fees will increase by 4% percent, such as a UK settlement fiancee, de facto partner and spouse visa which will increase from £851 to £885. Stating that the main reason for the fee increase is to improve the standard of customer service available, the UK government also states that wider increases will be avoided by targeting specific application types.
In addition, a number of new premium services will be introduced:
- appointments outside of regular office hours will be available at a cost of £50 per applicant;
- more locations will be able to offer the passport ‘passback service’ charged at £40 per applicant. This additional service allows visa applicants to keep their original passport while their UK settlement or non-settlement application is being processed by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI);
- a 3-5 day priority visa service for non-settlement applications will be available for a £100 fee;
- applicants will be able to make priority settlement applications for a fee of £300 (currently £200);
- applicants will be able to request a super priority visa service for a fee of £600.
Those applying for further leave to remain (FLR) and indefinite leave to remain (ILR) within the UK will have to pay more. For applicants with no dependants the application processing fees will be set at £601 and £1093 respectively. Same day service at a local UKVI Public Enquiry Office (PEO) can be requested for an extra fee of £400 per person, which includes a mandatory appointment booking fee. Applicants with dependent children under the age of 18 must pay a higher application fee depending on the number of children included in the FLR or ILR application.