The Home Office has announced immigration and nationality applications fees are to rise again in April 2018. However, having received a strident backlash from London’s best immigration lawyers in 2016 when there was an attempt to raise some immigration application fees by 500% (the Home Office later reversed the decision), fees this year will rise a more reasonable 4%.
The cost of the overseas ‘Priority Visa’ will rise by 15%. This service allows customers who pay an additional fee to have their application placed at the front of the processing queue. Those applying for non-settlement visas can expect to have their passport and visa decision returned within three to four working days and settlement visas within 10 working days. The standard service is for a decision within 15 working days for non-settlement, and within 12 weeks for settlement.
Fees for applying for UK settlement have once again increased. The total fee for a family of four applying for naturalisation as a British Citizen will increase to £9,556 from April 2018. Employers and HR directors will need to take this into account when recruiting talent from outside the EEA and budget accordingly.
More EU nationals applying for citizenship
According to recently released government data, there has been a sharp rise in the number of EU nationals applying for British Citizenship.
The Guardian has reported:
Almost 30,000 EU nationals applied to become British citizens between June 2016 and June 2017, double the previous year.
By volume, Poles topped the list of those seeking British Citizenship in the past three years with just under 6,200 applying in the year to June 2017, up 44% on the previous year.
The sharpest rise in applications was among Germans, whose applications jumped from 797 in the year to June 2016 to 2,338 in the year to June 2017.
The number of Italians opting for citizenship rose from 1,109 to 2,950 for the same period, while the number of Spanish almost tripled from about 500 to approximately 1,400”.
To apply for British Citizenship, EU nationals must hold a permanent residence Card and have been living legally in the UK for at least five years and meet all the eligibility requirements, including passing the Life in the UK test and meeting the English language requirements.
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Posted on: Thursday, 22 March, 2018