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 firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your details here.