Kings Court Chambers, Birmingham, announces results of investigation into UK Immigration Charges

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A recent investigation carried out by Kings Court Chambers, Birmingham, takes a closer look at UK Immigration Fees charged by UK Immigration authorities.

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It appears that British Citizens are charged considerably more to bring loved ones into the country.

An in-depth investigation, carried out on 1 December 2012, by Kings Court Chambers, Birmingham, provides details of UK Immigration Fees charged to British Citizens who wish to bring in non EU family members.

Kings Court Chambers, Birmingham, took a close look at current fees charged by UK Immigration for a British Citizen to bring a spouse into the UK and the criteria that they have to meet in order for a spouse to be considered for entry.

The findings are outlined as follows:

Income requirement to sponsor spouse plus any child(ren)
British Citizen -     Spouse Only - £18,600, 1st child - £22,400 per annum, Additional - £2,500 for each subsequent child.
EU Citizen - £0 (no requirement to sponsor a spouse or any children).

Visa Fee     
British Citizen - £826    
EU Citizen - £0

3rd party sponsorship     
British Citizen - Not allowed (since introduction of new laws in July 2012)    
EU Citizen - Not Required

Savings required if income threshold not met    
British Citizen - £16,000 plus 2.5% of current income short-fall    
EU Citizen - Not Required

Benefit entitlement of non-UK spouse    
British Citizen - Zero (no recourse to public funds permitted)    
EU Citizen - Every benefit (Job Seekers Allowance, Housing Benefits and free NHS Treatment)

English test required    
British Citizen - Level A1 (soon to be B1)    
EU Citizen - No knowledge of English language required

Life in the UK test required    
British Citizen - Yes     
EU Citizen - No

A statement from Kings Court Chambers said: “Quite clearly British Citizens appear to experience a much tougher task of getting a spouse into the UK. British Citizens appear to have to meet more stringent criteria to bring loved ones into the country."

In contrast, Kings Court Chambers discovered that EU citizens face very few barriers when it comes to getting a spouse or family members into the country. Most significantly, EU citizens are not charged a fee should they want to pursue an application for a spouse to gain entry.

The Kings Court Chambers review of UK Immigration charges has identified a number of interesting figures.

Kings Court Chambers comments: "We know that UK Immigration has become much more stringent in recent months as officials attempt to tackle rising UK Immigration numbers and a massive backlog of cases associated with UK Asylum. Perhaps part of the Government's plan to reduce net migration numbers is to impose higher fees."

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Adam Lovell
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