From today, the 1 June 2017, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will be imposing further immigration administrative charges on letter and email enquiries made on UK Immigration and Visa applications. Not long ago, the UKVI imposed immigration administrative charges that meant that any phone calls to UKVI would be charged at a rate of £1.37 per minute, not including network fees. This hefty charge saw more Applicants making email and written enquiries instead as they were free of charge. However, these further immigration administrative charges could have a serious negative effect on Immigration and Visa Applicants as those applying without legal representation would no longer be able to seek UKVI guidance on their Immigration and Visa Applications.
The Negative Impact of Further Immigration Administrative Charges
The UK Government will be outsourcing all enquiries and correspondence from Applicants who are outside of the UK to Sitel UK, who are worldwide leaders in customer experience management and business process outsourcing. This means that UK Immigration and Visa Applicants who are outside of the UK will now be charged £5.48 for every letter they send to UKVI. Applicants will also be charged the same amount for every email enquiry that is made and any follow-up email which relates to the same enquiry. The charge has been defended with the thought that it will;
“help reduce costs and ensure those who benefit directly from the UK immigration system make an appropriate contribution”.
This new charge has sparked outrage as certain cases may require Applicants to have lengthy correspondence with UKVI with regards to their application. As a consequence, Applicants will be accumulating huge immigration administrative charges on top of the Application and postal courier fees that they already face, simply by trying to gain assistance with their UK Immigration and Visa Application.
Applicants should also be aware that the opening hours have also been amended and the number of languages that are being offered is reduced to 8, including English. As of yet, there are no plans to apply these immigration administrative charges to people contacting UKVI from within the UK, but our specialist immigration solicitors and barristers suggest that this is not far from being extended to in-country applications.
UKVI Administrative Efficiency from the Further Immigration Administrative Charges
The Home Office is often heavily criticised for its lack of administrative efficiency. Often, there are complaints of Applicant’s original documents being lost or misplaced, with little possibility of recovery. This could cause unnecessary stress for Applicants, on top of bringing about complications for the Applicant with regards to their Immigration and Visa Application and potential status in the UK if they end up without a passport or vital documents.
Additionally, there are significant delays in UKVI processing Immigration and Visa Applications, as well as delays in providing the decisions on those applications. UKVI no longer acknowledges when they receive any letters for Immigration and Visa Applications which may leave Applicants wondering whether or not it has been received, which can generate large amounts of uncertainty. This uncertainty is then further prolonged by the fact that the Home Office frequently fails to respond to these letters promptly and efficiently.
Therefore, it could be argued that these further immigration administrative charges may improve administrative efficiency within the Home Office by reducing delays and provide a better service to Applicants. Nonetheless, many are taking a negative view of these changes as the cost may not be proportionate to increased efficiency. On top of that, there is no actual guarantee that efficiency will be improved, so Applicants could be left paying more in immigration administration charges as well as receiving the same inefficient, poor service. It is recommended that Applicants seek legal representation from our specialist immigration solicitors and barristers in order to assist with their Immigration and Visa Applications to ensure it has a better chance of success.
Using Legal Representations to Submit Successful UK Immigration and Visa Applications
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit a successful immigration application to the UK Home Office. Such applications can be complicated at times as the Home Office have imposed highly specific requirements for applicants to meet.
Our expert immigration solicitors will provide you with a tailored service and are on hand to expedite the process. This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Advice from LEXVISA UK Immigration Solicitors on Successful UK Immigration and Visa Applications
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Immigration and Visa Department. We can assist you with the preparation of your Immigration and Visa Application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. Our offices are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK visa and immigration solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.