Money for Nothing? Home Office Makes up to 800% Profit on Some Visa Transactions

UK Immigration Visa

An investigation by The Guardian has revealed that the Home Office is gleaning up to 800% profit from some immigration visa transactions.

The paper analysed fees for application figures and found large discrepancy’s in how much the Home Office charged applicants and the costs associated with processing applications.

It cites the following examples:

“……, since April the fee to apply for Indefinite Leave to Enter for a vulnerable adult dependent relative has been set at £3,250. It costs the Home Office £423 to process the application.

The Home Office charges £2,297 for an application for indefinite leave to enter or remain (per person for the main applicant and every dependant), a rise of 22.5% on 2016/17. It costs £252 to process each application.”

The Guardian goes on to point out that in 2011, then immigration Minister, Damian Green, announced the government would charge fees significantly above cost as part of a deliberate attempt to subsidise cuts to the funding of the immigration system.

However, accusations are now being made that the department, which has seen its budget cut by 24.9%, “has substantial incentives to turn down applicants over minor details, forcing them to pay a second time when reapplying.”

The Home Office has already been criticised over charging £5.48 for anyone contacting UK Visas and immigration (UKVI) from overseas by email. The fee was introduced after the Home Office contracted out its customer enquiries service for visa applications to a private outsourcing firm, Sitel UK, a subsidiary of the French-owned Acticall Sitel Group.  Sitel reduced the number of languages in which services are available from 20 to eight, including English.

What can visa and Leave to Remain applicants do to avoid paying exorbitant fees to the British Home Office?

The best step visa applicants can take to avoid paying high fees is to instruct an experienced immigration solicitor to assist them with making their application. Doing so mayl mitigate the risk of mistakes being made on the application form and/or relevant documentation not being submitted.

It is a persistent myth that immigrants do not pay high amounts to enter the sUK and that the application process is simple.  Those who wish to come to Britain often have to absorb considerable financial and often emotional hardship to enter and/or remain in the country.

An experienced immigration lawyer offers applicants the best chance of a positive experience during their visa application process.

OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in the UK.  If you need advice on any Immigration law matter, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our dedicated immigration lawyers.  

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