Indefinite Leave to Remain Fee Guide 2024


Applying for indefinite leave to remain comes with a significant financial commitment, particularly for those applying with dependants.

Your application will not be processed if there are issues with your fee, making it important to ensure you have the required funds and that you pay the correct amount.

In this guide, we explain the fees associated with applying for indefinite leave to remain ‚Äď from the ILR application fee to other related costs ‚Äď with guidance on how to pay, as well as the rules on refunds and reductions.

 

Section A: Indefinite Leave to Remain Fees

 

Applying for UK ILR can involve a number of costs, some of which are mandatory, such as the Home Office processing fee, while some relate to optional services, such as the priority processing fee.

 

1. ILR Application Fee in 2024

 

As of 2024, the fee for applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain is £2,885 per applicant. This fee is payable at the time of application.

For example, the ILR application fee for a married couple would be £5,770, while for a family of four, it would be £11,540.

The Home Office reviews and updates its fees periodically. Applicants must ensure they pay the correct amount to avoid issues with their application processing.

It is important to note that the ILR fee is non-refundable, even if the application is unsuccessful.

 

2. Biometric Enrolment Fee

 

As part of the ILR application process, you are required to provide biometric information, which includes fingerprints and a digital photograph. This is a mandatory step for each applicant, including children.

The current biometric enrolment fee is £19.20 per applicant. This fee is payable at the time of your biometric appointment, which can be scheduled at a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) centre. You should book this appointment promptly after submitting your application to avoid delays.

 

3. ILR Priority Processing (Optional)

 

For applicants requiring a faster decision on their Indefinite Leave to Remain application, the Home Office offers priority and super priority processing services. These expedited services come at an additional cost but significantly reduce the waiting time for a decision.

Importantly, not all ILR application types are eligible for priority or super-priority processing. You will find out if priority services are available to you when you complete your application form. If you wish to use one of these services, select the relevant option on the form and pay the additional fee.

 

a. ILR Priority Processing
Priority processing is designed for those who need a quicker response but do not require the fastest possible service. With priority processing, the Home Office aims to provide a decision within five working days of the submission of your biometric information. This service is ideal for applicants who have urgent travel plans, employment needs, or other time-sensitive commitments.

The cost for priority processing is currently £500 in addition to the standard ILR application fee.

 

b. Super Priority Processing
Super priority processing offers the fastest available service for ILR applications. With this option, the Home Office commits to providing a decision by the end of the next working day after your biometric information has been submitted. This service is especially beneficial for those with immediate needs or critical deadlines.

The cost for super-priority processing is £1,000 on top of the standard ILR application fee.

Read our detailed guide to ILR priority processing services.

 

4. Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (if applicable)

 

The NHS surcharge, also known as the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), is levied on temporary visa applications; as such, it is not typically payable by ILR applicants. However, in instances when an individual applies for indefinite leave to remain but is only given limited leave, they then become liable to pay the healthcare surcharge.

The surcharge is payable at a rate of £1,035 per year for most adult applicants and £760 per year for children under 18 at the time of their application. If you are required to pay the IHS, it will be calculated based on the duration of your visa or application period. For example, it would cost £3,105 per adult granted a 3-year period of limited leave to remain.

Any IHS due would need to be paid before the period of limited leave to remain is granted.

 

5. Legal Fees (if using an Immigration Solicitor)

 

Many applicants choose to seek the assistance of an immigration solicitor to increase the likelihood of a successful application. Legal fees cover services such as application preparation, document review, and representation in case of any issues or appeals and can vary widely depending on factors such as the complexity of your case, the reputation and experience of the advisor, and the level of service provided.

 

6. Recent Changes or Updates to the Fee

 

The ILR application fee is subject to periodic changes as determined by the UK government. In recent years, there have been incremental increases to the ILR fee as part of broader adjustments to immigration application costs.

It is advisable for applicants to check the official UK government website or consult with an immigration advisor to get the most current information on fees before submitting their application.

 

Section B: Payment Methods for ILR Fees

 

The UK Home Office has streamlined the process of applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) with a convenient online system.

The Home Office strongly encourages online payment for its efficiency and security. You can pay using a debit or credit card issued by either Visa or Mastercard.

To avoid issues with payment, ensure the name on the card matches the name on your ILR application exactly. Also, check your card has enough funds to cover the entire application fee before starting the payment process.

If you encounter technical difficulties during online payment, contact the UK Visas and Immigration helpline for assistance.

Online payment is the standard method, and currently, other payment methods like cash, cheques, or bank transfers are not accepted.
If, under exceptional circumstances, you are absolutely unable to pay online, you can enquire with UKVI about alternative arrangements. You would need to contact the UKVI helpline and provide the reasons for not being able to use the online system.

 

Section C: ILR Fee Exemptions and Reductions

 

Unfortunately, unlike some visa categories, the UK Home Office does not offer general fee exemptions or reductions for ILR applications. This means all applicants are expected to pay the full application fee set by the Home Office.

However, there are limited circumstances where you might be eligible for a fee waiver for a dependant included in your ILR application:

 

1. Human Rights-Based Dependants

 

If you’re applying for ILR on the grounds of your private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and your dependants are also relying on your application to remain in the UK, they might be eligible for a fee waiver. This is based on the argument that paying the dependent fee could violate your and your dependents’ right to family life under ECHR.

You can complete a separate fee waiver request form for each eligible dependant when submitting your main ILR application. Alternatively, you can state in your application that you can only pay for your own fee and not for all dependants.

Fee waivers are not guaranteed, and the Home Office will assess each request based on the specific circumstances of the case. Evidence will be needed to demonstrate the potential violation of your right to family life if the dependant fee is not waived.

This fee waiver option is only applicable for dependants included in an ILR application based on Article 8 ECHR.

 

2. Exceptional Circumstances

 

In very rare and exceptional circumstances, the Home Office might consider waiving or reducing the fee if you can demonstrate extreme hardship caused by the full fee payment. The hardship needs to be significant and directly linked to paying the fee, going beyond simple financial difficulty.

You’ll need to submit a detailed written request outlining your exceptional circumstances along with your ILR application. Supporting evidence like medical reports or financial statements might be necessary.

Obtaining a fee waiver under exceptional circumstances is highly challenging. The Home Office sets a very high bar for such requests, and success rates are low.

 

Section D: ILR Fee Refunds

 

While the ILR fee is generally non-refundable, there are specific circumstances where a refund may be granted.

 

1. When is the ILR Fee Refundable?

 

The ILR application fee may be refunded under the following conditions:

 

a. Application Withdrawal Before Processing: If you withdraw your application before the Home Office has started processing it, you may be eligible for a full refund. It is crucial to submit the withdrawal request as soon as possible to maximise the chance of receiving a refund.

 

b. Application Rejected as Invalid: If your application is rejected as invalid because it does not meet the initial submission criteria (e.g., missing documents, incorrect form), you may receive a refund. However, fees for any services already rendered, such as biometric enrolment, will not be refunded.

 

c. Overpayment: If you accidentally pay more than the required fee, the excess amount will be refunded. This often happens if multiple payments are made in error or if there is a discrepancy in the amount submitted.

 

d. Duplicate Applications: If you submit multiple ILR applications and fees, the fees for the duplicate applications may be refunded, provided they have not been processed.

It is important to note that if your application is refused after processing has begun, the fee will not be refunded.

 

2. How to Request an ILR Refund

 

If you believe you are eligible for a refund based on the conditions above, you need to follow these steps to request a refund:

 

a. Prepare Documentation: Gather all relevant documentation, including your application reference number, payment receipts, and any correspondence from the Home Office regarding your application.

 

b. Complete the Refund Request Form: The Home Office provides a specific form for requesting refunds. Ensure that you complete this form accurately, providing all necessary details to support your refund claim.

 

c. Submit the Request: Submit the completed refund request form along with your supporting documents. This can typically be done via email or post, depending on the instructions provided by the Home Office.

 

d. Contact the Home Office: If you have any questions or need assistance with the refund process, you can contact the Home Office through their helpline or customer service email. Provide them with your application reference number and details of your refund request.

 

e. Follow Up: After submitting your request, follow up with the Home Office if you do not receive a response within a reasonable timeframe. Keep records of all correspondence and any reference numbers provided.

 

Section E: Summary

 

Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a significant milestone for many individuals seeking to secure their future in the United Kingdom. While the process involves substantial fees and potential additional costs, being well-informed and prepared can make a considerable difference. By understanding the ILR fee structure, available payment methods, and the conditions for fee exemptions or reductions, applicants can better manage the financial aspects of their application.

For those facing financial difficulties, various options for assistance are available, including fee waivers and support from charitable organisations. Additionally, knowing the refund policies ensures that applicants can navigate the process with confidence, knowing their rights and options if circumstances change.

This comprehensive guide aims to provide the necessary information and resources to help applicants successfully obtain ILR, paving the way for a stable and secure life in the UK. For any further questions or assistance, it is always advisable to consult with an immigration advisor or legal professional to ensure the best possible outcome.

 

Section F: Need Assistance?

 

DavidsonMorris are recognised experts in UK immigration and settlement applications. We help individuals with all aspects of applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain, including guidance on the ILR application fee and using priority and super priority services. For specialist advice, contact us.

 

Section G: Indefinite Leave to Remain Fee FAQs

 

What is Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)?
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is a type of immigration status granted to individuals who have lived in the UK for a certain period. It allows them to stay in the UK indefinitely without any immigration restrictions and is a key step towards obtaining British citizenship.

 

How much is the ILR application fee?
The ILR application fee is £2,885 per applicant. This fee is payable at the time of application and is non-refundable if the application is unsuccessful.

 

Are there additional costs associated with the ILR application?
Yes, additional costs may include the biometric enrolment fee of £19.20 per applicant, the cost for optional priority processing and the fees for legal advice if you engage a professional adviser.

 

Can I get a refund for the ILR application fee?
Refunds are generally not available for ILR applications, but exceptions include withdrawal before processing starts, where the application is rejected as invalid, due to overpayment or duplicate applications.

 

What happens if my ILR application is refused?
If your ILR application is refused, take professional advice on your options, which may include submitting a fresh application that resolves the initial grounds for refusal, requesting an administrative review if you believe there was a casework error, or appealing the decision if you have qualifying grounds for appeal.

 

How long does the ILR application process take?
The processing time for ILR applications can vary, but it typically takes around six months. Priority and super-priority services may be available for faster processing at an additional cost.

 

Section H: Glossary

 

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR): A type of immigration status that allows an individual to live and work in the UK indefinitely without any time restrictions.

Biometric Enrolment: The process of providing fingerprints and a digital photograph as part of an immigration application to verify the applicant’s identity.

NHS Surcharge (Immigration Health Surcharge ‚Äď IHS): A fee paid by foreign nationals to access the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK during their stay.

Fee Refund: The return of an application fee under certain conditions, such as withdrawal before processing or overpayment.

Application Reference Number: A unique identifier assigned to an immigration application used for tracking and correspondence.

Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS): A network of centres where applicants provide biometric information and submit supporting documents for their visa or ILR applications.

Overpayment: Submitting more money than required for the application fee, which can be refunded upon request.

Home Office: The UK government department responsible for immigration, security, and law and order.

Human Rights-Based Claim: An immigration application based on human rights, particularly relating to the right to private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Administrative Review: A process where an applicant can request a review of a visa or immigration decision if they believe there was an error in the decision-making process.

Appeal: The process of challenging a refused application or decision by presenting the case to an independent tribunal.

Priority and Super-Priority Services: Expedited processing options for visa and ILR applications, available at an additional cost to receive a faster decision.

 

Section I: Additional Resources

 

UK Government Home Office
https://www.gov.uk/indefinite-leave-to-remain
Comprehensive guidance and official updates on ILR applications, including eligibility criteria, application forms, and detailed instructions.

 

UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS)
https://www.ukvcas.co.uk
Information on biometric appointments, document scanning services, and application submission details.

 

The Refugee Council
https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk
Support and services for refugees and asylum seekers, including assistance with ILR applications and understanding rights and entitlements.

 

Law Centres Network
https://www.lawcentres.org.uk/i-am-looking-for-advice
Free legal advice and representation for individuals who cannot afford legal services, including assistance with ILR applications and other immigration matters.

 

UK Government Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)
https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application
Information about the Immigration Health Surcharge, including who needs to pay it and how to pay.

 

 


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals



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