Who is eligible for a fee waiver?

16 Nov 2023, 39 mins ago

If you are requesting permission to remain in the UK, you can apply for a waiver of the visa application fee. This implies that, should you be qualified, you will not need to pay the visa application fee or the Immigration Health Surcharge.

You must obtain a decision regarding your fee waiver prior to submitting an application to extend your visa in the UK.

A fee waiver is usually granted if the Home Office finds one of the following from your application:

  • You credibly demonstrate you cannot afford the fee;
  • You are to be destitute;
  • You are at risk of imminent destitution; or
  • Your income is not sufficient to meet your child’s particular and essential additional needs.

Generally, if any of the following conditions apply to you, you may be eligible for a fee waiver:

  • You have “Discretionary Leave” or “Leave outside the Immigration Rules” based on human rights after being denied refugee status or humanitarian protection;
  • You are the dependent child, partner, or parent, of someone who has a family visa or permission to stay in the UK due to their private life (this should be stated on your Biometric Residence Permit card); and/or
  • You have permission to remain in the UK because you are a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery.

The main requirement for a fee waiver application is for you to credibly demonstrate that you cannot afford to pay the immigration application fee. For example, you:

  • Do not have a place to live in the UK or cannot afford one;
  • Have a place to live but cannot afford basic expenses like food or heating; and/or
  • Have a very low income, and paying the visa application fee would be detrimental to your child’s wellbeing.

If you are able to successfully demonstrate any of the above, you may be granted a fee waiver.

Your partner and children

If your partner and children are requesting to join you or remain in the UK as your dependants, you can list them on your application for a visa waiver. Every member of the family must submit a separate visa application and pay the required visa fee. If you are unable to pay all or part of the costs, you may use the fee waiver service.

You do not usually need a lawyer to make a fee waiver application, as you can fill out and submit the relevant application form online independently. However, it is recommended to seek legal advice to ensure that your application is sound and with higher prospect of success.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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