On 6th April 2017, the fees for immigration applications rose once more.
Immigration law is extremely complex, and any child, young person or family who has uncertain immigration status, or limited leave (“permission”) to be in the UK should obtain legal advice to assist with their application. Failure to pay a fee when applying could render an immigration application invalid and an applicant’s leave could lapse as a consequence.
Do all applications have a fee?
No fee is payable for an asylum claim under the Refugee Convention. Nor is a fee payable to make an application based on Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (protection from torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment).
What are the current fees?
The fee for a leave to remain application is £993 per person. Fees for adults and dependants (including children) are the same and there is no “family” fee. On top of this, applicants for limited leave must pay the immigration health surcharge of £200 per person per year of leave granted. For indefinite leave to remain applications, the fee is £2,297 per person. For registration as a British Citizen, it is £973.
Are applications eligible for a fee waiver?
Most applications made on the basis of the right to private and family life (under Article 8 of the ECHR) are eligible for a fee waiver, but the individual applying will need to show that they are destitute (or would be rendered destitute by payment of the fee) and there are exceptional circumstances relating to their financial circumstances and ability to pay the fees such that the fee should be waived in their case. Applications for indefinite leave to remain or citizenship registration are not covered by the fee waiver policy.
Children in care
Children who are in the care of a local authority are not required to pay a fee (apart from citizenship applications). However, it is the duty of the local authority to ensure that they are able to access advice and representation where appropriate and as this is no longer covered by legal aid, the authority may need to pay for this privately.
This Q and A was written for Children and Young People Now’s May monthly legal update.