Speaking for Ourselves

Take a stand against extortionate visa fees

Take a stand against extortionate visa fees

Migrant Voice

 Migrant Voice - Take a stand against extortionate visa fees

While people across the country were already struggling to cover the crippling cost of extortionate visa fees, many more have been thrown into precarious positions, and potential destitution, with the implementation of significant increases.

On 4 October the cost of certain visa applications went up by 15-20%. This meant, for example, that for those applying for a visa to join their partner or child, if they are British or have lived here for more than seven years, went up from £1,538 to £1,846 - and they also need to pay over £1,700 in Immigration Health Surcharge. Imagine having to pay three and a half thousand pounds just to be able to stay with your child.

Even before these increases the extortionate costs of visa fees were driving some families into destitution. Many people will have already had to pay more than £10,000 in visa fees, and various other related costs, before they reach a point where they are eligible for settlement. For families the situation is even worse, with some ending up with £30,000 plus in debt in order just to retain the very basic rights which many people take for granted, such as being able to rent a home or work. All of this is on top of the taxes which migrants, like us, pay through their work.

This is why on 31 October Migrant Voice is organising a national Day of Action against visa fees. Nobody should be forced into poverty just to be able to stay with their children, or live. We want you all to join in with us and stand against these unjust fees.

It used to be said that the cost of fees was to cover the cost of the immigration system, but even before these increases the cost of fees was roughly 7 to 10 times the cost of actually processing them. In explaining away the motivation for the increase though, the Home Office has put to rest this myth once and for all. Their claim now is that “It is right and fair to increase visa application fees so we can fund vital public services and allow wider funding to contribute to the public sector pay”. Migrants are not this government’s magic money tree though. 

We, as a country, are facing a cost-of-living crisis which is already affecting millions of people. Migrants are our friends, family, colleagues and neighbours. They are facing the same thing as everyone else, and then they have these unjust fees heaped upon them as well. 

Something as simple as their car breaking down could force a whole family into losing their status, meaning they would have to start over from scratch. An unexpected bill making you decide which of your children you will be able to get a visa for. No-one should have to face that.

We are calling on the government to reduce fees in line with their processing costs, and cap the route to permanent residence to five years. Stand with us on 31 October and call for a fairer system. 

For more information about the National Day of Action and how you can get involved click here, or email campaigns@migrantvoice.org.

Get in touch

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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