UK Visa Fees
When you decide to embark on a journey to the United Kingdom, you’re not just crossing geographical borders; you’re navigating a complex financial landscape.
Understanding the financial aspects of moving to the UK is crucial, and one of the most significant factors in this equation is the often-misunderstood world of UK Visa Fees.
UK Visa Fee Structure
The UK Visa Fee Structure provides a comprehensive breakdown of the costs associated with applying for various types of UK visas. The fees can vary depending on the visa category, the duration of stay, and whether you apply from within or outside the UK.
It’s essential to understand these fees to plan and budget for your visa application. Below, I provide an overview of the typical components of the UK Visa Fee Structure:
Application Fees: This is the core fee you pay for processing your visa application. The amount depends on the type of visa and the duration of stay. Application fees typically constitute the most significant portion of the total visa cost.
Health and Care Worker Visa Surcharge: This surcharge, known as the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), is a fee to access the National Health Service (NHS) while in the UK. It’s a mandatory fee for most visa applicants, and the cost depends on the length of your visa and the number of dependents.
Optional and Premium Services: The UK offers optional services that can expedite your visa application process. These services include:
Priority Visa Service: For faster processing times.
- Super Priority Visa Service: For even quicker processing, often within 24 hours.
- User Pays Services: Additional services like document scanning or premium lounges.
Biometric Appointment Fees: When you apply for your visa, you’ll need to provide biometric data (fingerprints and a photo). There’s a fee associated with this biometric appointment.
Expedited Processing Fees: In certain cases, you may need to expedite your application. This can incur additional fees.
It’s important to note that visa fees are subject to change, and the UK government periodically updates the fee structure. We encourage applicants to check the official UK government website for the most up-to-date information on visa fees.
Visitor visas are a category of visas that allow individuals to enter the United Kingdom for various short-term purposes, such as tourism, business meetings, visiting friends and family, or other non-working, non-residential activities.
These visas are temporary and do not grant the right to work or live in the UK for an extended period. Visa authorities typically issue visitor visas for a specific duration, and it’s essential to adhere to the visa conditions during your stay. Below, I’ll provide an overview of the different types of visitor visas in the UK:
The UK Tourist Visa, also known as the Standard Visitor Visa, is intended for individuals who wish to visit the UK for leisure, sightseeing, or vacation. You can explore the UK’s rich cultural heritage, historical sites, and natural beauty. The tourist visa allows stays of up to 6 months. The fee is about £115
Business Visitor Visa:
The Business Visitor Visa is designed for individuals traveling to the UK for business-related purposes. This includes attending meetings, conferences, seminars, and negotiating contracts. It does not allow individuals to work in the UK but permits business-related activities. The fee is currently £100
Short-term Study Visa:
If you intend to undertake a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language course or a short academic program, you can apply for a Short-term Study Visa. It allows you to study for up to 6 months (or up to 11 months for English language courses). Short-term study visa costs £200.
If you are passing through the UK on your way to another destination and need to change airports or travel within the UK during your layover, you may require a Transit Visa. A Visitor in Transit visa costs £64
Work visas in the United Kingdom are designed for individuals who wish to work in the UK temporarily or on a more long-term basis. These visas allow individuals to take up employment, engage in business activities, or contribute their skills and expertise to the UK economy.
The specific type of work visa you need will depend on your employment circumstances and the nature of the work you’ll be doing. Here are some of the main work visa categories in the UK:
Tier 2 (General) Visa:
This visa is for skilled workers with a job offer in the UK. To qualify, you typically need to have a job offer from a UK employer with a valid Tier 2 sponsorship license. The job must be on the UK’s Shortage Occupation List or meet other eligibility criteria. The standard fee ranges from £719 to £1,500
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) Visa:
This visa is for individuals who are recognized as leaders or emerging leaders in their field, including the arts, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology, and sciences. To apply for this visa, you must first obtain an endorsement from a designated competent body. It costs £716 to apply
Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Visa:
This visa is for employees of multinational companies who are being transferred to a UK branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their current employer. There are several subcategories of ICT visas, including long-term staff, short-term staff, and graduate trainee visas. The standard fee ranges from £719 to £1,500
If you have a grandparent born in the UK, you may be eligible for an ancestry visa. This visa allows you to work and live in the UK for up to five years. The application fee for a UK Ancestry Visa is £637
Tier 5 (Temporary Worker) Visa:
This category includes several subcategories, such as the Creative and Sporting visa, Charity Worker visa, Religious Worker visa, and International Agreement visa. These visas are for individuals participating in temporary work schemes or specific cultural or professional events in the UK. The application fee for each person applying is £298
Study visas in the United Kingdom, often referred to as “Tier 4 Student Visas,” are designed for individuals who wish to come to the UK to pursue a course of study at a recognized educational institution.
These visas allow individuals to enroll in various educational programs, including degree courses, language courses, and academic research.
The specific type of study visa you need will depend on your age, the level of study, and the type of institution you plan to attend. Here are some of the primary study visa categories in the UK:
Tier 4 (General) Student Visa:
This is the most common type of study visa for individuals aged 16 or over who want to study in the UK. To apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, you must have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a licensed Tier 4 sponsor (educational institution). The fee for the UK Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 (General) Student Visa) is £363
Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa:
For children between the ages of 4 and 17 who want to study at an independent school in the UK. They must have a CAS from a licensed Tier 4 sponsor. It costs £490 to apply for a Child Student visa from outside the UK
Short-term Study Visa:
If you plan to undertake a short course of study in the UK, such as an English language course or a short academic program, you can apply for a Short-term Study Visa. It allows you to study for up to 6 months (or up to 11 months for English language courses). It costs £200 for a Short-term study visa
Tier 4 (Visa Dependant) Student Visa:
If you are the dependant of a Tier 4 (General) or Tier 4 (Child) student, you can apply for a Tier 4 (Dependant) Student Visa to accompany them while they study in the UK. The application fee is £490
Family visas in the United Kingdom are designed for individuals who wish to join their family members in the UK. These visas enable family reunification and allow individuals to live with their British or settled family members, including spouses, fiancé(e)s, civil partners, children, and parents.
The specific type of family visa you need depends on your relationship with the family member in the UK. Here are some of the primary family visa categories in the UK:
The UK Spouse Visa is for individuals who are married to or in a civil partnership with a British citizen or a person settled in the UK. It allows spouses or civil partners to live and work in the UK for a specified period.
Successful applicants are typically granted a visa initially valid for 30 months, which can be extended. The UK spouse visa application fee stands at £1,048 for applications submitted within the UK, while it amounts to £1,846 for applications submitted from outside the UK.
The Fiancé(e) Visa, also known as the Prospective Marriage Visa, is for individuals who intend to marry or form a civil partnership with a British citizen or settled person in the UK.
It allows entry into the UK for a six-month period for the purpose of getting married or forming a civil partnership. The UK fiancé visa fee is £1,846
Parent of a British Citizen or Settled Person Visa:
Parents of a British citizen or a person settled in the UK can apply for this visa to join their family members in the UK. The requirements for this visa category can be stringent.
The cost for joining your partner, parent, or child when applying for a UK visa outside the UK is £1,846, while the cost for the same application made within the UK is £1,048.
Additionally, for each dependent added to your application, the fee is £1,846 per person when applying outside the UK and £1,048 per person when applying within the UK.
Dependent Child Visa:
Dependent children of British citizens or individuals settled in the UK can apply for this visa to join their parents in the UK. The visa is granted for an initial period and can be extended.
The application fee for a dependent child applying outside the UK varies: £1,538 for those under the family visa route, up to £1,235 per person for long-term visa holders (e.g., work visa dependents) staying more than 3 years, and £2,404 for children of settled persons.
Settlement visas in the United Kingdom, often referred to as “indefinite leave to remain” or “ILR” visas, are for individuals who wish to make the UK their permanent home.
These visas allow individuals to live and work in the UK without any time restrictions. Settlement visas grant a significant level of stability and security. Here are some of the primary categories of settlement visas in the UK:
- Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): This is the most common type of settlement visa. It allows individuals to live and work in the UK without any time restrictions. To qualify for ILR, you typically need to have lived in the UK for a specified period under a relevant visa category, such as a work visa or family visa. ILR is often seen as a step towards British citizenship. It costs £2,885 for each person applying.
- Spouse Visa Extension: If you are on a spouse visa and have completed a certain number of years in the UK, you can apply for a spouse visa extension. After a set number of years, you can then apply for ILR. Application fee to renew a Spouse Visa UK is £1,048 for each person applying
- Ancestry Visa Extension: Individuals on an ancestry visa can apply for an extension and eventually settle in the UK after completing a specific period of residence. When applying to extend your visa from within the UK, the application fee is £1,048.
- Bereaved Partner ILR: This visa is for partners who were in the UK on a spouse or partner visa but have lost their British or settled partner due to their partner’s death. After two years on this visa, individuals can apply for ILR. The application fee is £2,885.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How much does a UK visa cost on average?
The cost of a UK visa varies widely depending on the type and duration of the visa. On average, visa fees can range from a few hundred to several thousand pounds.
Are UK visa fees subject to change?
Yes, UK visa fees are subject to change, and they can be updated periodically. It’s essential to check the most recent fee structure when applying.
Can I pay for my visa application in installments?
Unfortunately, UK visa fees typically need to be paid in full at the time of application. There are no installment options available.
Is there a difference in fees for online and paper applications?
The fees for online and paper applications are generally the same. However, online applications are often preferred for their efficiency.
Are there any scholarships or grants to cover UK visa fees?
While there are scholarships and grants available for tuition and living expenses, they usually do not cover visa fees. Visa fees are the responsibility of the applicant.
Can I pay the visa fees in my local currency?
Visa fees must be paid in pounds sterling (GBP). The local currency is typically converted to GBP at the current exchange rate.
What if my visa application is delayed, and the fees change during the process?
If your visa application is delayed and the fees change during the process. You will be required to pay the updated fees when your application is processed.
Do I need to pay the NHS surcharge if I have private health insurance?
Yes, the NHS surcharge is generally mandatory for visa applicants. Even if they have private health insurance. It is a separate fee covering access to the National Health Service.
How do I apply for a refund if my visa application is rejected?
If your visa application is rejected. You can apply for a refund using the official refund request process provided by the UK government.
Are there any legal provisions to challenge excessive visa fees?
While there is no specific provision to challenge visa fees. You can appeal the decision if your visa application is rejected based on incorrect fees or unfair grounds. Legal advice is recommended in such cases.