migrantvoice
Speaking for Ourselves

Migrant Voice calls for an end to extortionate, discriminatory immigration fees

Migrant Voice calls for an end to extortionate, discriminatory immigration fees

MV

 Migrant Voice -
 Migrant Voice - Migrant Voice calls for an end to extortionate, discriminatory immigration fees

On 4 April 2019, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration published a report into immigration fees set by the Home Office. In response, we have published a briefing, calling for an overhaul of the immigration fee system and urgent reductions of those fees to truly affordable levels.

We believe the current fees are disproportionate, discriminatory and pricing people out of their rights. Several of our members spoke about the impact of the high fees at our network meeting in Birmingham in March. 

One of those people is a support worker in Birmingham. She works 50 hours per week, often night shifts, and she’s a single mother. Just keeping on top of rent, bills and food is hard enough, she explained.

“How can we even afford clothes to put on our children? And we still have to be finding these £3,000 to send off for paperwork.”

Another woman told us of her fear as she faces the prospect of renewing visas for herself and her children later this year. She gave birth to twins last year, but their visas will expire before they even reach their second birthday, as the Home Office issued them when their mother was only two months pregnant.

The Chief Inspector's report included some recommendations that we welcome - including the call for a detailed breakdown of how immigration fees are calculated and for a review of settlement routes and the fee waiver process. We're pleased that the Home Office has partially accepted those and several other recommendations.

But we're disappointed that the Home Office has rejected the call for a full public consultation on the issue of Home Office fees, and that the report itself does not recommend any reduction in the fees, which are putting undue burdens on families in our communities and pushing families into destitution.

We are keen to gather more information from anyone affected by the high cost of visa fees in the UK, so please contact us at info@migrantvoice.org if you would like to share your experience.

Read the full briefing here.

 

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