Visa fees target hardworking families
In January this year the Daily Express featured an article that pointed out that the rules governing the award of UK spouse visas meant that as many as 15,000 children were being denied access to one of their parents. The figure was attributed to the Children’s Commissioner for England.
Specifically, the Express article pointed to the obstacle posed by the annual income threshold for families which this year was raised to £22,400 plus an additional £2,400 for each additional child. But this is not the only financial hurdle which applicants for a spouse visa must overcome.
In March this year the Home Office imposed a 25% increase in the fees for family and spouse visas. The price of Family and Spouse visas has gone up to £1,195 and the fee for Adult Dependant Relatives has risen to £2,676. Furthermore, following the changes that were implemented on March 18th, the fee for a settlement application within the UK has increased to £1,875. British citizen naturalisation fees for adults have also increased to £1,156 and child registration fees have gone up to £936. These amended amounts also constitute 25% fee increases.
A crude and cruel system
The price of entry to the UK – even for the married partners of British citizens – has never been higher. Critics have been quick to point out that the increase in the Family and Spouse visa fees is no more than a crude attempt to limit the numbers of individuals moving to the UK. Such a move would, of course, be entirely in line with the Conservative government’s declared policies on immigration as well as ‘free-market’ economics. They have said they want the immigration service to be ‘self-funding’.
The UK spouse visa is a means to allow British citizens to live in the UK with their partners and families. The implementation of these policies comes at a financial cost to applicants, but, as the Daily Express article suggests, it also comes at a far higher price to those who do not meet the necessary financial criteria.
YDVISAS specialise in all visa categories and are specialist immigration lawyers in the UK. Please contact the expert team at YDVISAS, should you need any professional help with your visa application.