For certain immigration applications the Home Office requires the payment of a fee. Although not all applications require a fee, you can request the fee to be waived if you comply with certain circumstances and requirements, and your kind of application is eligible for a fee waiver.
What kind of immigration applications are eligible for a fee waiver?
The types of immigration applications eligible for a fee waiver are made under the basis of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. This include applications as a parent under the ten-year route, as a partner under the 10-year route, and applications based on private life under the 10-year route.
Unfortunately, applications under the 5-year route are not eligible for a fee waiver. This is because this kind of application requires individuals to meet specific financial requirements which would mean the applicant would not meet the free waiver criteria.
If your immigration application is eligible for a fee waiver, the Home Office would waive the fee where failure to do so would render the applicant incapable of exercising their rights under the European Convention of Human Rights. Therefore, the applicants need to demonstrate that:
They are destitute
They would be rendered destitute if they pay the fee; or
There are exceptional circumstances relating to the financial situation of the applicant and their ability to pay the fee
The applicant is considered as a destitute by the Home Office if:
They do not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it.
They do have adequate accommodation or means of obtaining it but cannot meet other essential living needs
What kind of evidence do I need to provide for a fee waiver?
Fee waiver applications require sufficient documentary evidences, especially regarding the financial situation of the applicant. These applications should include:
Accommodation evidence: Regarding type and adequacy, rent or mortgage, income and expenditure on food or another costs. This can be evidenced with documents such as bank statements, tenancy agreements, utility bills etc.
Evidence showing how the applicant has supported themselves to date, and why their means to support themselves is insufficient or no longer available.
When supported by third parties, like friends, family, or local authorities: The applicant should provide evidence of the nature and amount of support received. If this support is limited or about to cease, the applicant should disclose why this is with documentary evidence.
If the applicant is a street homeless, they should provide previous bank statements, notifications of evictions or letter from previous supporters.
What kind of immigration applications don’t have a fee?
The immigration applications that do not require the payment of a fee include:
Applications based on article 3 of the ECHR (protection from torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment)
Applications made under the ‘Destitution Domestic Violence Concession’
Applications made by recognised victims of trafficking
Minors who are looked by a local authority are also exempt from paying certain immigration application fees.
Masaud Solicitors can help you apply for a fee waiver
If you need support to apply for a fee waiver on your immigration application, Masaud Solicitors can help provide advice on whether you are eligible and what kind of documents need to be provided to support your application. Our team of experienced immigration solicitors take a friendly approach to your case to ensure that you fully understand what is required at each stage of the application process. Get in touch to find out how we can support you and your family.