Speaking for Ourselves

Calls for 'Action On Visas' from around the country

Calls for 'Action On Visas' from around the country


 Migrant Voice - Calls for 'Action On Visas' from around the country

Extortionate visa fees are destroying lives right now in the UK. Families ripped apart, parents unable to ensure their children are documented, migrants forced into destitution, unable to afford food, all because they are being treated as this government’s magic money tree.

On October 31st thousands of people across the country joined with Migrant Voice to call for an end to the nightmare which is the current visa settlement  system.

We saw organisations and individuals hosting a wide range of events in Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Glasgow, London and elsewhere, too many to name individually. We are delighted and inspired by this collective effort, and thank everyone involved so much.

This was only part of it. Social media, and in particular the hashtag #ActionOnVisas, was buzzing all day, as people shared their experiences, and their solidarity. We saw migrants and non-migrants alike coming together to call for the changes we need: a reduction in fees, to bring them in line with the actual processing costs, and a cap on the length of time anyone should have to wait for permanent residency at five years.

Members of Parliament joined in with the call for action, with a fantastic op-ed from Dawn Butler, and, in an unexpected, but amazing, end to the day at our London rally, Sir Stephen Timms announcing that he would be putting forward an Early Day Motion about the issue, and Bell Ribeiro Addy, both of whom were speaking at the event, agreeing to be a co-signatory.

We also saw significant press interest, before, during and after the day, on the issue of visa fees.

This is only the start though. The Day of Action has shown that when the public realise the damage which these cruel fees are causing they will stand with migrants. When we organised the Day of Action it was about more than just one day. We chose 31 October because it is Halloween, the time when people face their nightmares and call them out, but the horror faced by migrants is every day, and it is getting worse. With proposed increases of the International Health Surcharge set to come into force in January, it will mean the costs of Limited Leave to Remain Applications will have gone up by 540% in a decade. That cannot continue.

We have to continue building on what was started on 31 October. You can be a part of that.

  • Keep sharing yours and other stories on social media with the hashtag #ActionOnVisas
  • Write to you MP to encourage them to sign Sir Stephen Timms and Bell Ribeiro-Addy’s  Early Day Motion, and call for a reduction in fees themselves
  • Join with Migrant Voice and speak out.

We need to continue to raise public awareness about the damage caused by these fees. By doing so we can help make politicians, of all parties, see that this is an unjust form of excessive double taxation on migrants. We can stand in solidarity and call for migrants to be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness.

Photo credit: Sam Ivin for Migrant Voice

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Migrant Voice
VAI, 200a Pentonville Road,
N1 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: info@migrantvoice.org

Registered Charity
Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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