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Immigration application fees

Anyone who is applying for leave to remain in the UK or British citizenship will need to pay a fee to the Home Office.

Some types of immigration applications are fee exempt, so will be free. If no exemption applies then the applicant will need to pay a specified fee, unless they can apply for a fee waiver. Fee waivers are only available to people making applications on the basis of their family or private life in the UK.

Immigration fees are revised (and usually increased) in April each year and can be changed at other times. A person must check what fee they will need to pay well in advance of making their application. They would also need to find out if they are required to pay the NHS surcharge (Immigration Health Charge) in addition to the application fee.

See the Home Office information about current immigration and nationality fees

Fee exemptions 

A person will not be required to pay a fee if they are making one of the following applications: 

  • Asylum or Article 3 
  • Leave to remain under the Destitution Domestic Violence Concession 
  • Leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence under paragraph 289A, Appendix FM or Appendix Armed Forces, where the person is destitute
  • Most applications made by children who are looked after by a local authority (this exemption does not include children accommodated under section 17 of the Children Act 1989)
  • Initial period of limited leave to remain as a stateless person, or as the family member of a stateless person, under Part 14 
  • EC Association Agreement with Turkey
  • Discretionary leave when the person has a positive grounds decision as a victim of trafficking or modern day slavery
  • Leave as a domestic worker who is the victim of slavery or human trafficking

Fee waiver for family & private life applications 

An application made by an adult under the family or private life rules, or outside of the rules raising Article 8 family and private life grounds, will cost £2593 (£1033 application fee + £1560 Immigration Heath Charge). A separate fee must be paid for each family member included in the application.

If the person cannot afford the fee they should ask their legal representative if they can apply for a fee waiver. A fee waiver is applied for as part of the online application process and the person will need to submit evidence that they meet the requirements of the Home Office fee waiver policy for the fee to be waived.

The Home Office policy states that a person may be able to apply for a fee waiver if they are applying for leave to remain on one of the following grounds:

  • 5-year partner route - only where a person is not required to meet the minimum income threshold because their sponsor is in receipt of a particular benefit and so instead must demonstrate that their sponsor can provide adequate maintenance 
  • 5-year parent route 
  • 10-year partner, parent or private life route - where a person claims that refusal of that application for leave to remain would breach their rights under Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
  • Where other rights under the ECHR are asserted and this forms the substantive basis of an application
  • Extension of discretionary leave that was granted following refusal of asylum or humanitarian protection claim - where a person claims that refusal to grant further leave to remain would breach their ECHR rights. 
  • Extension of discretionary leave for a victim of trafficking or slavery who has already accrued 30 months’ discretionary leave and is applying to extend it for reasons relating to trafficking or slavery

A fee waiver may be granted if the person can demonstrate that one of the following applies to them: 

  • They are not able to pay the fee
  • They are destitute 
  • They are at risk of imminent destitution
  • Their income is not sufficient to meet a child’s particular and additional needs 
  • They are faced with exceptional financial circumstances

For more information, see the Home Office guidance: Fee waiver: Human Rights-based and other specified applications.

Registration as a British citizen

A child who is born in the UK will not automatically be a British citizen, as citizenship is acquired through a parent being British or having a form of settled status, for example, indefinite leave to remain.

When a child does not acquire British citizenship by birth, they may be entitled to apply to the Home Office to register as a British citizen. 

A child may register as a British citizen if one of the following applies: 

  • They were born in the UK and have lived here for 10 years
  • They were born in the UK to a parent who subsequently obtains indefinite leave to remain or another form of settled status

The fee for a registration application is £1012. No fee exemptions or fee waivers apply to child registration applications.

See the government information about British citizenship. The Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) provides useful resources for people working with children who may be British or entitled to register as British citizens.