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Steep rise in immigration fees | Immigration Matters

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 Categories : News


The UK Border Agency has announced a steep hike in fees for migrants effective 6 April 2009. 

The following announcement is published on the UK Border Agency website: 

“Following Parliamentary approval, the new immigration fees announced on 12 February 2009 will be introduced from Monday 6 April 2009 for all those applying to visit, work in or stay in the United Kingdom.  

Fees for studying in the United Kingdom under the new tier 4 of the points-based system came into force on 31 March 2009.” 

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) postal leaps almost 10% to a whopping £820 and the Public Enquiry Office (PEO) will be rising to a hefty £1020.  

Leave to Remain fees for non student jumps from £395 to £465 for postal – an inflation busting 18% hike. PEO fees will rise almost 10% to £600.  

Tier 4 visa fees will now set students back £145 a rise of almost 50%, and Tier 2 will now cost £265. 

Further Leave to Remain (FLR) goes up by nearly 15% to £400 for postal applications, and will cost £600 for PEO applications. 

The full list of new fees can be found on the UK Border Agency website. 

A number of new immigration application forms are again being revised from Monday 6 April 2009 and you are advised to check the appropriate websites before applying. 


The UK Border Agency is a business, and like any other business it has a business plan and targets. Unlike most other businesses, the UK Border Agency has no competitors and is a monopoly. It has a captive customer base with no choice but to stump up whatever the agency demands. 

The Government is right to cover the cost of processing applications, but it should also be remembered that students, Investors and working migrants bring huge benefits to the UK and billions of pounds in direct revenue. 

In a low inflationary economy it is difficult to see how the level of fee increases can be justified. 

Do you have any comments? 

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:  or visit  

Related stories: 

UK Border Agency announce new immigration rules and Tier 1 application forms 

ID Cards for more migrants from 31 March 

Points Based Tier 4 starts 31 March 

New Tier 4 student forms for use after 31 March 2009

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21 Responses to “Steep rise in immigration fees”
Read them below or add one

  1. I’m married to a Filipino girl, I’m English, I was born here. I have my own business and my wife works for a local nursing home. Neither one of us has ever claimed benefits of any description, yet my wife is now being asked to pay a sum approaching £1000.00 for the privilege of staying here.

    I would like to hear a reasoned argument for this labour government’s hike in fees to a level which I consider to be little short of scandalous.

  2. victor says :

    Ive recently been made redundant after working for years!Grafting.Am in the same situation as millions of British people and i have a wife(british) and 2 kids.Ave now got to pay £820 to apply for this ILR, Confirm that i can support myself and dependants, how am i supposed to do this when A.I have no job, My current visa is running out and B.the few available jobs that are there i cant get coz employers see ive got 1 month on my Visa and turn me off? I cant win; C. I spoke to the Immigration Office and they said i even cant pay ths £820 in instalments and the application will take upto (6 months)…Its Appauling how we’re treated as immigrants here!!

  3. now its very cleared to us that the goverment admitted that immigration is doing bussiness by getting money to all the people who wanted to come to uk and most of them is refused.the goverment should ashamed of their bussiness it is all corrupt i wonder why no improvement in this country english people got a bad reputation all over the place no morals and lack of knowledge.we pray to god that who ever do that monkey bussiness you will get it in return oneday in gods time.what an excuses of the delay of our application because of etch…etc…etc..but when you get our money your too quick but when we need a result from our visa it takes 60,90,120days and more why?the british embassy manila needs improvement for the quality of their service.dont get many visa application if you cant give the target of time specially the person is admitted to school this must reviewed and give a little consideration sometimes or most of the application that needed to decide quikly.STOP ACCEPTING VISA APPLICATION WHEN YOU CANT GIVE THE GOOD AND QUICK SERVICE ,STOP GETTING MONEY TO THE PEOPLE THAT WORK HARD IN UK AND PAYING TAXES TOO….ITS TIME FOR YOU TO CHANGE AND BE FAIR TO ALL………..WAKE UP BEFORE EVERYTHING GETS WORST.

  4. This is so unfair. We pay all this money and still the UK border agency take their time to process our applications. You fully complete your application, send all the relevant paper work they require and yet applications still take 6 months to god knows how long to be considered. They don’t even know that by delaying this much one’s life is basically put on hold. These organisation has wasted a lot of peoples years just waiting for consideration for an application. If you phone them to find out the progress of your application they tell say if you want your Passport back we will withdraw your application and you have to start applying all over again, so one just has to wait and hope and pray that their passport comes back in time for them to go visit family for that special reunion or holiday even if you’re going for a funeral they won’t consider your application any quicker. Why not just make a decision in weeks even if it’s a negative reply I’m sure we can take it. This is day light robbery, they penalise migrants forgetting that they also contribute a huge amount to the economy.

  5. #13 Ian, I am a higher rate tax payer with my own business. I pay my very good share of taxes, more than most, and invest my own money to see that I have enough to take care of my family and I in retirement. What I will take from the government will be minimal in comparison. I wasn’t given this situation. I started from nothing and got to this position through sheer hard work.
    #14 Anthony, hardly a bigot. My partner is asian. I gladly pay for her course fees and provide anything for her upkeep. I agree, we must get harder on illegal immigrants in this country, and it is unfortunate that overseas students fees have to be set high. They need to be though to go someway towards preventing illegal immigrants trying to enter the UK through the ‘I’m a student, let me in!’ route.
    #16 I can sympathise with you. I know 2 people who have been deducted the same percentage. I couldn’t believe they could legally do this. It is like constructive dismissal because it leaves no option but to leave to seek work elsewhere. I thought the law lords would have jumped on this.

  6. I’m british born and bred, my wife is foreign and needs to apply for ILR this year! I am a civil servant and to keep the public happy my salary has been cut by 40% this year. I dont have enough money now to support us!!My flat months salary does not cover basic bills!
    Where will we find £820? will my 7 months pregnant wife have to leave me and go back to her own country??
    Can somebody tell me what I’m supposed to do?

  7. Fees Rise
    The UK Border Agency describes itself as a “Business”, which means it needs to meet targets and make money? Funny, I thought Governement departments and agencies were a ‘service’, not a business?

    Good point about ’emigration’. People also forget that millions of Brits are living abroad and hundreds of thousands leave each year for Australia, Canada, Spain, France, Dubai, USA and so on.

  8. Anthony says :

    #12 – You sound like a biggot! Without immigrants this country would not function and anyone with an ounce of knowledge knows this. The government was wrong to allow the fees to be increased by such a margin during the current economic climate as many are already struggling to get by as it is.
    Immigration should be harder on those illegally entering the country and this is where much of the immigration costs are. However, those working hard and paying tax should be welcomed. We need them to pay for all the Britsh benefit claimants who have never had a job and don’t intend to, who sponge of society.
    I’m british with a foreign wife and have no choice but to stump up the fees and I can ill afford this. It’s especially irritating when I was told only months ago that any increases to the visa fees would be marginal!! I hardly consider a 10% increase marginal.
    At this rate I don’t think it will be much longer before I move to another country in the next wave of economic migration that will see much of the UK’s talents move abroad.

  9. #12 Ade, you will be earning benefits from government without working for years. You work, pay tax and manage a family, then you will understand what is the value of money. People like you have destroyed this country.

  10. If all you moaners think the cost to apply to get here is extortionate, then wait until you get here!
    The government is probably doing it to give an insight into what you have to pay when you get here.
    If you can’t hack the high taxes we pay, don’t come here! Go study in a different country whose taxes you are happy to pay. If you want to be in the UK, then you have to understand this is what we pay. Take it or leave it. If you thought the UK was the soft touch or an easy option, think again, we are getting tougher… and it’s not before time!

  11. lovely says :

    this new policy is absolutely ridiculous.we are living and working like slave in this country.but the government is really ruthless and wicked that foreigners are being used.we foreigners,contribute huge amount of money by means of paying taxes that only benifits british people.where is the human rights that they are talking about?where is the fairness and equality of people?no wonder the crime in this country is very rampant because of the leaders in the government who are senseless and horrible only taking money from foreign people.wake up and set the reality,to change and loosen the rules for migrant foreign workers.

  12. The new £1020 feel is a complete joke. My wife needs to apply for the ILR this year and to be honest, this fee is scandalous. Under the conservative government, the ILR visa was FREE!!! And since Labour came to power, it has risen to over £1000!! Vote conservative if you have the chance. This government is a load of crap.

  13. The slavery mentality of the colonial era is not completely done with in the UK. This is simplify a shameful decision in the light of current economic situation. No wonder some group of people are begining to have utter hatred, resentment and bitterness for the country. The people you are tasking like slave masters came into this country legally and operate under the same conditions as the UK citizens (the same market and even with less opportunity to get good jobs due to discrimination). This is not going to be helpful in the long run even for the UK. For the govt to close its eyes to this injustice and exploitation is a wicked hypocrisy and fell short of all the noises being made around the world by Gordon and his team to curb economic crisis. Do they want the migrants to steal or commit fraud? Are the migrants making money from other sources outside of their income that is heavily taxed. This is wickenedness, oppression and injustice. I have one thing to say – righteousness exalt a nation but evil is a reproach to any people. This is evil and God who is righteous and just is able to fight for the helpless and those who are weak to defend themselves. Is it only in UK that we have immigrants? Is America or Canada or Australia or New Zealand embarking on this nefarious act? This is protectionistic policy and contrary to the reality of life now. This is simply exposing helpless families into pain, hardship and hunger. God, please fight for the migrants against the wicked leaders in this country.

  14. Horrible this country,they take lots of money to foreigners, ashame!!

  15. mathew says :

    I am very annoyed with the uk government is stress students a lot .As they donet increase the working hours and within 20 hrs work no one can save 600 pounds a year to spend on fees.On the other hand they donot give more than one yeae visa as well.A student who have really desire to further study they cannot come to study in london unless he/she is rich and wealthy.My point is if education is only for wealthy people i dont think there is any need for this education.

    As here we are trying to remove the gap betwwen the rich and poor by providing education in developing country but this objective has not beeen taken care off.

    The uk government has ti think about the people who cannot afford but have talents to grow in there life .If it is not taken care off properly i would say the crime rate will never come down and it will only increase.

  16. NELSON says :


  17. Vinnie says :

    This is unfair however as it is already pointed; this is business with complete monopoly.

    This will also affect British nationals whose family member or spouse comes from other countries; especially people from Asian countries have strong ties there.

    Similarly I guess this will hike visa fees for British Nationals (as many countries have tit-for-tat policy in place) which is not good news for those who travel abroad for personal and business purpose.

  18. whats the point of discussing it the gov takes no notice of foreign students/workers anymore they dont want us here. they have used an abused commonwealth countries for years, now that eu has expanded we are not welcome anymore

  19. anthony says :

    its unfortunate that a country that looks at herself as a symbol of human right and freedom will be treating people this way.

    it calls for a very sober reflection, I encourage people to try as much as possible to keep away from this country as migrants are not welcomed here. its disgusting.

  20. CHERIAN CHACKO says :

    It is a great crime to immigrants. At one side, our dependents are jobless for long time and finding it difficult to get job, the other side the Government is trying to loot us by increasing fees. If an application is rejected for some mistakes, they even take it. It is horrible.

  21. ANIL THOMAS says :

    this is really unfair. the agency is squesing the peoples who work here, study here especially it will affect tourist to come over here. the agency is just making money thats what it is called sa how to make others money in my pocket.

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