Fee Waivers

For Those Who Cannot Afford Immigration Fees

The Home Office charges application fees, increasing these fees from time to time. The Immigration Health Surcharge will increase by 66% in November. It is clear that more people will find it difficult to fund their immigration applications. If you are applying for permission to stay in the UK, you can apply for a ‘fee waiver’. If you are successful, you will not have to pay the application fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge.

You must get a decision on your fee waiver before you apply to extend your current leave – or permission to be in the UK. Once you have your fee waiver decision, you have ten days to make your full application for permission to stay.

Who Can Apply For A Fee Waiver

Fee waivers are not available for every application. For example, you cannot apply for a fee waiver if you are applying for British Citizenship. 

You can apply for a fee waiver if:

  • You’re a partner, parent or dependant child of someone who has a family visa or has permission to stay in the UK based on their private life.
  • You have ‘Leave outside the Immigration Rules’ on human rights grounds where you were refused refugee status or humanitarian protection - check your Biometric Residence Permit to see what you’ve got.
  • You have permission to stay in the UK because you’re a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking.

This means fee waivers only apply to those applying on human rights grounds. 

You can apply for a fee waiver if you cannot afford to pay the fee because you:

  • Do not have a place to live in the UK, and you cannot afford one
  • Have a place to live but cannot afford essential living costs like food or heating
  • Have a very low income, and paying the fee would harm your child’s wellbeing

Your Partner And Children

You can include your partner and children in your visa waiver application if they’re applying to stay with you in the UK as your dependants.

Evidence Of Your Finances

It is important to provide detailed information about your financial situation. You will be asked to set out your income and your expenses and to send:

  • Bank statements
  • Letters from local authorities or family members showing you get financial support
  • Evidence to show you or your partner get public funds
  • Evidence of your household earnings, for example, payslips
  • Evidence of your household expenses, for example, how much rent you pay

You may also be asked to provide additional evidence about your partner or dependants’ financial situation. The Home Office study your finances closely. If you have paid out a lot of money recently, they will want to know why. If you spend £500 a month on scratch cards, you are unlikely to get a fee waiver. 

The decision may grant you a full or partial fee waiver, depending on your financial situation. This can make a huge difference if you are struggling financially and cannot afford the high immigration fees. You will find the fee waiver online form on the gov.uk website.

Please do not hesitate to speak to our team if you have any questions about the fee waiver.

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