Whilst the level of fees payable upon immigration applications continues to increase, there are opportunities in various instances where a waiver may be available.
Sharan Rupra of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the situation.
Potential Fees | Kangs Immigration Specialists
An application for ‘Further Leave To Remain’ will involve the following expenditure:
- costs over £1000.00 for the application,
- the mandatory immigration health surcharge of £1000.00
- costs of English Language certificates for an extension to remain in the UK for two and a half years.
The Basis Of Potential Waiver | Kangs Immigration Law Advisory Team
Given that these substantial fees will be beyond the financial means of many people faced with the need to submit immigration applications, the courts have considered the position and have concluded that it is unlawful for the State to charge a fee for a human rights based application where the applicant cannot afford the fee.
In the decided case of R (OMAR) v Secretary of State for the Home Department , the High Court found that:
The Secretary of State, as a public official, is under a duty to make and interpret rules in the light of Section 3 of the Human Rights Act. The requirement in regulation 6 and 30 of the 2010 Fees Regulations that, in this class of case, a fee must be paid, there is no provision for waiver and an application without a fee is ‘not validly made’ must, in the light of section 3, be read subject to a qualification that the specified fee is not due where to require it to be paid would be incompatible with a persons Convention rights.
Additionally, in the case of R (Carter) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  the court stated:
‘if a person demonstrates upon proper proof that they cannot pay the fee, then a policy which does not provide for waiver in those circumstances is incompatible with a Convention right.
Potential Entitlement To A Waiver | Kangs Immigration Applications Team
The nature of applications which may attract a waiver include those:
- based on Human Rights grounds which constitute a substantive basis of such application.
- for Further Leave to Remain under the ‘5 year partner route’, and those exempt from the financial requirements if their sponsor is in receipt of a specified benefit.
- for Leave to Remain under the ‘10 year partner, parent or private life route’ under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
- for Leave to Remain on the basis of other European Convention Human Rights.
- for further Leave to Remain by applicants granted Discretionary Leave to Remain following refusal of asylum or humanitarian protection.
- for Further Discretionary Leave for victims of trafficking or slavery who have had a positive ‘conclusive grounds’ decision, have already accrued 30 months Discretionary Leave and are seeking to extend it for reasons related to trafficking or slavery.
Criteria For Fee Waiver Entitlement | Kangs Immigration Procedure Advisory Team
One of the following circumstances must apply to an applicant:
- they are destitute – i.e. being without accommodation or essential living costs.
- they would be rendered destitute by payment of the fee – i.e. possess accommodation and essential living costs, but have no disposable income to pay such fees.
- an exceptional situation prevails such as the existence of essential child care needs resulting from illness or disability.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Specialist Immigration Solicitors
Fee waiver applications are very technical and complex and require accurate and complete preparation together with required supporting documents.
The failure of an application can lead to an applicant becoming illegal or an over stayer.
Kangs Solicitors has an established specialist Immigration department, able to assist in all aspects of asylum and immigration at all stages from application preparation to representation at Tribunal and any subsequent Appeal Hearings.
We have a proven track record of successfully advising and guiding clients through the immigration application and appeals process.
Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Immigration Solicitors
Please feel free to contact our Immigration Team through the following who will be happy to speak to you and guide you: