The spouse/partner visa application fee is £1,846 as of 4 October 2023. In this article we explore the hidden costs of the visa application process.
The UKVI visa application fee is £1,846 if applying outside the UK and £1,048 if applying from inside the UK. This fee is paid when you submit the application form online.
You will also need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge fee of £1,872 if applying outside the UK and £1,560 if applying inside the UK. This fee is paid when you are submitting the application fee online. It is a fee to use the NHS in the UK. Importantly, Immigration Health Surcharge (“IHS”) fees are expected to increase significantly in January 2024 and applicants can expect to pay £3,105 if applying outside the UK or £2,587.50 if applying inside the UK.
The visa application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge fee will be paid in local currency and currency conversion rates apply based on the live OANDA rate plus 4%. In general, you should expect to pay a further £150 - £300 for currency conversion fees. However, it can be more than this depending on fluctuations in currency value. Applications submitted inside the UK are charged in GBP.
If any children are applying at the same time, additional fees will apply.
Most applicants will need to take an English language test at Level A1 or higher for a fee of £150.
Applicants living in specified countries will need to attend an approved TB clinic and obtain a TB certificate. TB certificates are only required for applications submitted outside the UK. The TB test fee will vary depending on the country and clinic, but it is usually £50 - £100.
Family documents such as marriage and birth certificates often require translation, averaging £80 per certificate. However, the cost will vary depending on the language and how many words require translation.
As part of the application process, you will need to enrol your ‘biometrics’ (photograph and fingerprints).
If applying outside the UK, you will need to attend a visa application centre run by either VFS or TLS depending on what country you are applying from. Many visa application centre locations offer free appointments. Some locations charge a base fee, usually of around £80, and some charge a fee for ‘prime time’ appointments of around £100 - £150.
If applying inside the UK, you will need to attend a visa application centre run by UKVCAS Sopra Steria. Free appointments are available in the UK, but are limited. Chargeable appointments range from £85 for an ‘express appointment’ and £245 for a ‘premium lounge’ appointment. For a standard appointment you can expect to pay £139.
If you are applying with the assistance of a lawyer, you should also budget for legal fees. You can find out more about our fees here.
It is possible to pay for a faster decision on your application using Priority Service. If applying outside the UK, Priority Service costs £500 and this means you will receive your decision within 30 working days of attending your visa application centre appointment. You purchase Priority Service when you book your visa application centre appointment.
If applying inside the UK, Priority Service for a decision within 5 working days is not currently available. However, limited Super Priority Service slots are available for a decision within 2 working days, at a cost of £1000. When applying inside the UK, you purchase this when you submit your application form online.
There are other optional services you can purchase from the visa application centre when booking your appointment. One of the most popular services is the ‘keep my passport’ service. The fee varies depending on the country and visa application centre but this is usually between £60 - £100. If you are applying inside the UK, you will keep your passport while your application is being processed.
What if my application is refused?
If a visa application is refused, the Immigration Health Surcharge fee is refunded. The visa application fee is not refunded.
What if I cannot afford to pay the fees?
Immigration application fees are expensive, and have increased significantly in recent years. If you cannot afford to pay the fees, you may be eligible to apply for a fee waiver. It is now possible to request a fee waiver for applications submitted inside and outside the UK.
If a fee waiver is granted, you will be given a code to use when submitting your application online.
Contact our friendly team for advice and assistance with your family visa application.