Home Office Will Now Charge You £5.48 for Emailing Them From Outside the UK

From 1 June 2017, the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will charge you £5.48 if you send them an email enquiry from outside the UK.

The Home Office has contracted out its customer service for those outside the UK to a private commercial partner – Sitel UK.

The other changes for customers applying from outside the UK are:

  • all phone numbers and opening hours will change (although the details of these have not yet been published)
  • the number of languages offered is reducing from 20 to 8, including English (meaning 7 foreign languages the details of which have not been published

UKVI said the changes ‘help the government reduce costs and ensure those who benefit directly from the UK immigration system make an appropriate contribution’.

With people applying to enter the UK often paying application fees of over a thousand pounds, it is slightly outrageous that the Home Office will now charge them for emailing in relation to their applications.


Visadreams.com,  Diary of an Immigration Lawyer, is a blog run by Fahad Ansari, the director and principal solicitor of Riverway Law, a niche UK immigration and nationality law practice based in London.  If you would like any advice or assistance in relation to your immigration matter, please do not hesitate to email me at fahad@riverwaylaw.com or submit your details here.


  1. I just paid the £5.48 to ask about my pending UK settlement visa application which is nearing the 60 day waiting point. I have been waiting in the U.S. since June 1st and separated from my British husband of 9 years who is living in the house we bought in a England. After spending 30 minutes composing my letter asking if this visa process will extend beyond the 60 days and paying the email fee, I received a canned cut/paste response from their website one minute later which did not even address the issue. I am fairly certain my letter was not even read. It’s seems criminal to me that after spending about £3,000 in application fees there is not a person to contact for support.


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