In our recent blogs, we’ve been exploring the best way to immigrate to the UK to ensure a smooth and stress-free move, and one of the most frequently asked questions we handle is how much it costs to immigrate to the UK. Ultimately, this is an open-ended question as the costs will vary depending on many factors including where you choose to live in the UK and what the visa route you’re applying for is.
There are some general costs that you can expect to pay, regardless of your visa route, that help give an overall view of how much it costs to immigrate to the UK, which we explore here.
The upfront costs when immigrating to the UK
The first cost you’ll need to pay is the visa application fee. This fee varies depending on the visa route you are applying for, but for working visas, the cost is typically between £380 and £1,500 as of 2023 prices.
You’ll also need to pay the immigration health surcharge which is a mandatory charge that all non-European Economic Area (EEA) visa applicants must pay. The current rate for the immigration health surcharge is £624 per year, with an increase to £1,035 per year set to kick in from 2024.
For some of the more popular visa options, the average costs below don’t include the health surcharge as mentioned above.
|Skilled Worker visa
|£1,224 – £2,434
|£1,323 – £2,533
|£1,323 – £2,533
|Global Talent visa
|£1,323 – £2,533
|£965 – £1,875
*Of course, these are estimates as shared on the Government website and the actual cost of your visa application will vary.
There are several other costs to consider that you might need to pay including document translation fees, biometric enrolment fees, if you need to provide your fingerprints and photograph and courier fees, if you need to send your documents to the UK Visas and Immigration.
Considering all of these costs, the total cost of immigrating to the UK can range from anything between £1000 and £12,000.
How much does an immigration lawyer cost in the UK
For a successful visa application, we’d always recommend working with a professional immigration lawyer too. The cost of working with an immigration lawyer in the UK can vary depending on your case and the experience of the lawyer. When working with our team here at Citrus, we always suggest clients expect to pay an average of £1,500 to £3,000 for an immigration lawyer’s services.
Initial consultation: £100 – £250
Hourly rate: £200 – £400
Fixed fee: £1,500 – £3,000
As well as these average costs, some added elements to visa applications can affect the cost of an immigration lawyer too. These include:
- The type of visa you are applying for – Some of the more complex visa applications like spouse visas or business visas, will typically cost more than straightforward applications like tourist or student visas.
- The amount of evidence you need to provide – If you need to gather a lot of evidence to support your visa application, your lawyer may charge you for their time and expenses in getting the evidence together.
- The number of appeals – If you’re appealing a visa refusal, your lawyer will charge you for their time and expenses in preparing your appeal.
As with many things, it’s always a good idea to get quotes from several different immigration lawyers before making a decision. We always recommend that our clients speak with potential lawyers first about their experience with applications similar to yours too. You can ask the lawyer what their success rate is and what to expect when working with them, to help you make the right decision for you.
Some other handy tips for finding an affordable immigration lawyer include;
- Asking your friends, family and other immigrants you know for recommendations
- Looking online for immigration lawyers in your area
- Comparing the fees of different lawyers
- Meeting with several lawyers to get a sense of their experience and personality
- Asking about payment plans
Ultimately, immigrating to the UK does come at a cost but preparing yourself for the costs involved will help manage both your expectations and budget for doing so. Doing your research before speaking with an immigration lawyer will help prepare you for the cost and even manage the payments if they offer additional payment services.
If you’re feeling confused about your visa application or want to speak to an experienced immigration expert today, get in touch with our team here at Citrus email us at firstname.lastname@example.org