In an era of increasing visa fees and NHS health surcharges, the financial burden on migrant families seeking to stay together in the UK has become even more pronounced. This is particularly the case, following recent government announcement of huge increases in immigration fees.
Understanding the Impact:
Migrant families experience the direct consequences of rising costs in the immigration process. The recent announcement of visa fee increases has left many families worried about the exorbitant amounts they will have to pay to remain together in the UK.
The Home Office application fees will increase by 15-20%, this means an application for leave to remain will increase from £1048 to £1258 per person.
The Immigration health surcharge will be increase from £624 to an eyewatering £1,035 per year per applicant; and the “discounted rate” for students and under 18s will increase from £470 to £776 per year per applicant.
This means a family of four applying for an extension application can be over £14,000. If they are on the 10-year route to settlement, that’s four sets of leave to remain applications (initial application followed by three extensions), coming close to £60,000. That is without factoring the further increases in the fees and the costs of a settlement application at the end of the ten years, which for a family of four can easily surpass £11,500.
This will bring the grand total to over £71,000 in ten years (put another way, the family need to find £7,000 surplus income for each year they are on this route).
This financial strain not only poses immense challenges but can also disrupt the overall well-being and integration of families in their new home.
The Role of Fee Waiver Applications:
Fee waiver applications provide a lifeline for migrant families struggling to meet the financial requirements of the immigration system. These applications, if successful, exempt individuals from paying the fees associated with their immigration applications, making the process more accessible and alleviating the burden of exorbitant costs.
IHRC Legal understands the unique challenges faced by migrant families. Our team of experienced immigration professionals specialises in fee waiver applications, working closely with families to determine their eligibility, offering them expert guidance and peace of mind.
Case Study 1
Mary arrived in the UK on a visitor visa in 2004 with her partner. They lived together for around five months, when he left, taking her passport with him. no contact with him since.
In 2012, she had a daughter, Sophia, whose father left them soon after Mary became pregnant.
Mary occasionally did catering / cleaning for parties, but otherwise was reliant on the goodwill of friends and family.
As Mary had no fixed abode she lived with friends, and when that was not possible, sought shelter at mosques and even on buses. Mary suffers from multiple chronic illnesses, for which she received little treatment
Eventually two friends allowed her to stay between their two homes. Weekends in one home, weekdays in the other, constantly travelling between the two with all their belongings. Eventually Mary turned to charity for assistance with subsistence, they referred her to IHRC Legal.
In 2019, we applied for a fee waiver and then leave to remain which was granted. The application fees without the fee waiver would have been £4,831. With the recent announcement, the fees for the same application are due to increase to £7,043.50!
Mary can now work and apply for public funds. They have a stable home, Sophia does not have to constantly run between other people’s homes, and is not at risk of homelessness / living on buses or mosques.
Case Study 2
Adam and Sarah arrived in the UK in 2002 with their son.
They have four children together, all of whom with the exception of the eldest were born in the UK.
Adam made a small income by working as a gardener, handyman and caretaker at his local place of worship. He also bought and sold goods at a car boot sale. However, due to a shortfall in his income, he also receives financial support from charitable organisations.
A charity referred him to IHRC Legal, who assisted him to register his oldest UK born child as a British citizen, and applied for leave to remain for rest of family with a fee waiver.
The fee waiver for the nationality application saved the family £1012. With the recent announcement, the fees for the same application are due to increase to £1214.
The fee waiver for the leave to remain application saved the family £11885. With the recent announcement, the fees for the same application are due to increase to £17,285!
Since then, Adam has been working and has undertaken various professional courses in order to enhance chances of employability. He paid for his younger two children to be registered as British nationals as soon as they become eligible and for his son to gain settlement.
His children all attend school and are now flourishing. His family have stability and do not need to turn to friends or charities to meet their essential needs.
Contact IHRC Legal Today:
If you are concerned about the escalating costs of immigration applications, IHRC Legal is here to help you and your family. Reach out to us today to discuss your eligibility and explore how we can provide the support and guidance you need. You can find out about our fees here.
In these uncertain times, let IHRC Legal be your trusted partner in the pursuit of family unity and an inclusive immigration process. Contact us today to discuss your situation and discover how we can assist you in your fee waiver application.