"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Friday 30 May 2014

British Citizens forced to pay £3381.10 in fees to be allowed to live in the UK with their spouse as a British family!

The Government published in its most recent figures that the cost per decision for all permanent and temporary migration applications is £182

Yet when presenting information to justify the recent increases in fees in Parliament they stated the actual unit cost of processing a spouse Visa is £278 (FLR) but they want to charge £601.

Anybody unfamiliar with the spouse visa system (including most MP's) then they would think that the cost of the visa for a British Citizen to live with their wife/husband or partner is only £601.

What they fail to realize is the process now takes over 5 years and has to be applied for several times providing relatively the same information with a new fee each time!
So why do I say the visa cost is £3381.10

As a British citizen you have to now Pay the following for your spouse to stay here
  1. LTR (£601) the first in country application after being married, 
  2. Biometric Fee (£19.20), 
  3. FLR (£601) at the 2.5 year mark, 
  4. Biometric Fee (£19.20) at each application the same biometrics are taken again with a fee paid to the Post Office
  5. Life in the UK test (£50)
  6. ILR (£1,093) at the 5 year mark, 
  7. Biometric Fee (£19.20)
  8. Naturalization (£906 ) a year later, 
  9. Passport fee (£72.50) (optional but needed for travel)
Total £3381.10

If you are applying from outside of the UK then it is more as the first application is Settlement instead of LTR for overseas initial applications and costs (£885) so would give 
Total £3665.10
All these stages require almost the same documents submitting each time.
During the six year period the spouse is only allowed outside of the UK 90 days per year.

This does not include the increased complexity of the forms etc that Brits have to wade through so now even the well educated need the help of solicitors just to fill them in, or the solicitors fees, English Test fees, validation fees of qualifications or court, legal and appeal fees we have to go through when the H.O. get things wrong.
Even the new Helpline now costs £1.37 per Minute 

By comparison Residence Documents issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations are not mandatory 
For EU Citizens bringing their spouses here using the EU National route

  1. EEA family permit (Free)  is normally for 6 months and allows multiple entry to the UK (https://www.gov.uk/family-permit)
  2. after 6 months can apply for 5 year Residence card (£55)  
  3. Residence Certificate(£55) 
  4. Permanent Residence Card (£55) after 5 years of residence in the UK
  5. Permanent Residence Certificate(£55)
Total £220 (but optional)
The spouse is only allowed outside the UK 6 months a year.

source of current fees and costs

Spouse visas for British Citizens used to not cost anything as the British Citizen was already paying for them indirectly through their taxes. Only passport applications you had to pay for as these were regarded as optional. 
So why are we now being charged 18.5 times what it costs for something we have already paid for through our taxes?

Why are British Citizens (most of them born and bred in the UK) being ripped off and discriminated against just because their spouses were born in a non-EU country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

Even after being ripped off by extortionate above premium fees the level of service offered is lacking with many applications refused,  applications delayed due to staff cutbacks,  mistakes made and not quickly corrected etc

Even the application forms are still not fit for purpose and treat British Citizens like immigrants. An example is on the spouse application form 
question: 7.22 is your sponsor currently living in the UK? 
Put a cross (x) in the relevant box. 
If ‘Yes’ please provide the date of when he/she first arrived in the UK

Lets put these fees into context:

The Government say that all applications should be earning a minimum of £18,600 per year 

so any body earning £18,600 would have to pay 
18% of their annual income in visa fees!   

But Justice Blake in his ruling last year suggested that the minimum income should be £13,400 

so any body earning £13,400 would have to pay 
25% of their annual income in visa fees!
just in order to exercise their fundamental right of living with their spouse. 


  1. Absulute inequality from the government and now they are trying to ignore this issue of pure cruelty

  2. Omg I am so much frustrating of delayed decision of incmoe thershold of spouse. .can any1 advise me how long I need to wait?

  3. Only UK is the country where immigration policy cruelly grilled even settled and british people and the government policies going more hard and hardest. There are no one to raise big voice against these policies. Dont know how long court will take more, everyone is in bad suspense. Hope court decide some good news for every 1..

  4. Unfair, cruel, heartless, inconsiderate.......

  5. It's rip off Britain all right....

  6. Any news about the decision ? ?

  7. I don't understand how this is ok and still no update on income threshold its completely being ignored because they talk about everything but that. We need to do something protest or something instead of standing idle doing nothing its just sad and frustrating!

    1. Don't forget the meeting outside of the Home Office on July 9th. :)

    2. You going to be there Wayne-o? See you then !

  8. The income threshold issue and court case isn't being ignored (by us anyway). There just isn't any news at the moment.

    All the way through I've tried to make clear that this will take time. It can take many months for such a decision to be made and written. That said, we expect it will be soon.

    Again - to manage everyone's expectations - this may well not be the end of it. Whatever the result is, either side may appeal.

    On the question of a protest - I'm personally all for a big national demonstration including all the civil rights and migrant groups. An umbrella for anti-xenophobia groups is being formed through MAX, but it will take time to bring all the orgs in.

  9. Entirely agree, but quick question: where did you get the 90-days out of the UK limit from, and is that on a year-by-year or averaged basis? I've had trouble finding anything coherent on this on gov.uk

  10. In 2001 my Kenyan wife paid £256 each for Settlement visas for herself and her daughter to come to UK. These were valid to enter UK for one year. After arriving in UK they were again valid for one year before she had to apply for ILR. I have no idea how much ILR would have cost as she returned to Kenya shortly after and I eventually divorced her.....

  11. Oh, a little clearer on the EU side of things... The only person who "needs" to register for a residence card / PR certificate (although optional) is the non-EU family member. The EU citizen's passport is more than sufficient. So the EU total is actually just £110.

  12. One cost is missing in this calculation. You need to do an English test if you are not from an English speaking country or if you do not have a degree taught in English. I need to do the IELTS test which costs around £100 per test and I will need to do it in these 3 stages. ( Settlement/ FLR / ILR) I applied from overseas and it means my cost of living with my British husband is £ 3665.1+ 300 = £3965.1
    At the same time, my friend, who is born in the same country as me from a non-EEA country, only needs to pay for £220 because her husband is an Irish.

    How come my husband who is an English (born and bred in the UK) is treated with discrimination by his own country? ( much higher fees and financial threshold) How is that fair? Why a British national who wants to settle in his own country with his spouse is so much more difficult than other European nationals?

    I really don’t understand how come a government made the policy that’s in favour of other nationals but cruel to its own citizens. We do not ask for better treatment, but at least it should be FAIR.

  13. an updated version of this for the increases in costs brought in in April 2015 is available in the link below