New fees for immigration and nationality applications

Yesterday (3 April 2017), the Government laid the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2017 before Parliament. The Regulations come into force this Thursday (6 April 2017).

The vast majority of the increases are minimal. For instance the application fees for entry clearance and leave to remain as a Tier 4 (General) Student have increased by £7 and £9 respectively. The figures are similar for other categories of the Points Based System such as the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) category, Tier 1 (Investor) category, and Tier 2 (General) with increases ranging between £12 and £31.

Those looking to join their British spouses in the UK have not been so fortunate. For entry clearance as the spouse of a British citizen the fee has increased by £269 from £1,195 to £1,464. For applications for leave to remain on the basis of private and family life (including as the spouse of a British citizen) the fee has increased by £182 from £811 to £993.

The most significant increase is for applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain. For these applications the fee has increased by a staggering £422 from £1,875 to £2,297. This will be a particularly punitive increase where there is more than one application, for instances where there are dependant children.

One piece of good news is that the fee for naturalisation as a British citizen has in fact decreased, by £34, going from £1,236 to £1,202. The fee for applying for a review of a decision to refuse a citizenship application has increased by £49 from £272 to £321. This fee previously increased from £80 to £272 last year. As such, although only increasing by a modest sum this year, it is still a significant sum to pay in order to correct what can often be very simply case working errors such as applying the wrong section of the British Nationality Act 1981. Particularly when the equivalent fee for an administrative review of an immigration decision is only £80 (this fee has remained the same).

UPDATE: Although the Regulations state that the fee for naturalisation as a British citizen is £1,202 (see page 35 here), this appears to be a typographical mistake and the Home Office are in fact charging £1,282 for such applications (see here).