UK Home Office ripping off poor overseas students!?!

When I first came to the UK, and during my first three years as an undergraduate student, I didn't have to pay any fee to extend my visa. I do think charging a reasonable amount (to cover administrative costs or whatever) is justified, and I wouldn't be complaining at all. However, last time I had to apply for an extension to my student visa (a couple of months ago), I had to pay £250! If I had applied in person rather than through the post as I did, I would have paid £500!

Today, I received the following email from the University's International Student Support Co-ordinator. We overseas students already pay at least three times as much in tuition fees as the home students (including those from the EU), and now this increase in visa extension fees, and all other fees related to immigration services just seems a way of making money for the Home Office by ripping off poor students like myself! How can it cost £300 to process a visa extension application!?!

Subject: Increase in Home Office immigration fees
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 15:17:56 +0000 (GMT)
From: [hidden]
Reply-To: [hidden]
To: Mahesh Poudyal

Dear Student,

The Home Office have announced an increase in Leave to Remain fees
(the fee paid to renew a visa).

From 1 April 2007 the fees to submit a visa extension application in
the UK will be:

Student visa extension application submitted by post: £295
Student visa extension application submitted in person: £500

Visitor visa application submitted by post: £395
Visitor visa application submitted in person: £595

SEGS visa application submitted by post: £395
SEGS visa application submitted in person: £595

HSMP visa application: £400
HSMP leave to remain: £350

Work permit application: £190
Work permit leave to remain application made by post: £350
Work permit leave to remain application made in person: £550

Home Office application forms are very likely to change when the new
fees are introduced but new forms are not yet available on the Home
Office website. If you intend to submit an immigration application
to the Home Office on or after 1 April please make sure you check the
Home Office website before sending your application to make sure you
have used the most up to date form. The Home Office website can be
found at

Applications made on the wrong (old) form, after updated forms are
available, will be rejected by the Home Office. A subsequent
application made after your current visa has expired is likely to be
considered by the Home Office to be out of time (late).

Students whose Leave to Remain expires in the near future may wish to
take advantage of the current fees and submit an application prior to
1 April.

If you intend to renew your Leave to Remain you must ensure you meet
the immigration requirements at the point you apply otherwise your
application will be refused.



Kind regards,

International Student Support Co-ordinator
Student Support Office

2 thoughts on “UK Home Office ripping off poor overseas students!?!

  1. David Palmer

    It is not just these fees but also for any non EU citizen who wants to get a visa to visit an EU country. They have premium rate numbers (09xxx) that cost over £24 to make an appointment. Except you do not get an appointment you get a place in the queue and still have to take a ticket when you get in. You are not guaranteed an appointment and if they are busy you have to rebook and repay. This seems to me to selling an appointment under false pretenses, all they want to do is make some money. The appointments take months for some consulates and they make between £500k and £1m a year in the phone system in addition to the Visa fees they charge. Exploitation is not dead, it had just changed.

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