UK Visa Fee Hike. Can Survivors of Abuse Afford to Escape?

United Kingdom
#asylum #visafee

There have been multiple increases in visa fees in recent times, including the visa fee hike to meet health surcharge. However, in a recent development, victims of domestic violence who are seeking asylum in the UK have to pay steeply higher visa fees, which has led to accusations against the Home Office of supporting abusive relationships.

Foreign-born survivors must now pay a staggering £2,885 application cost, which has increased by £481 since February, to apply for leave to remain. An extra £2,885 per child increases the financial burden for individuals with dependent children.

Escaping Abuse at a Cost: The Rising Visa Fees

The Home Office cites a £646 processing cost as justification for this increase, which results in an astounding 77% net profit margin on each survivor's application. Organisations that assist victims of domestic abuse have serious worries, pointing out that the 20% increase in fees will make it much more difficult for women to escape their abusers.

The charge has more than doubled since 2014 when it was £1,093, the second rise in two years. John Glen, the then chief secretary to the Treasury, announced the decision to hike fees in July, claiming it would assist in paying for more of the costs associated with the migration and border system.

Barriers to Safety for Migrant Women

Domestic abuse survivors already confront several barriers to safety, such as difficulty obtaining legal counsel for immigration guidance. 

Women's Aid's head of policy, Lucy Hadley, notes that these women will find it even more difficult to escape their abusers as a result of this judgement. For foreign nationals who are abused by a British citizen or someone who is permanently resident in the UK, the situation is especially grave.

The law permitting foreign nationals who have experienced abuse to petition for permission to remain was a significant advancement. It was introduced in 2002 as a result of a campaign spearheaded by the domestic violence charity Southall Black Sisters. 

But now that the cost of visas has increased, questions have been raised about how this would affect those already at risk of being deported.

Because there aren't enough long-term, sustainable assistance options, Southall Black Sisters cautions that more migrant victims may lose their status and become illegal as a result of the significant increase in visa fees. 

Concerns over the exploitation of these measures by abusers who take advantage of victims' inability to pay exorbitant visa costs and put them in abusive situations are particularly raised by the organisation.

Only victims of domestic violence are eligible to apply for fee waivers by demonstrating their destitution, but the application fee is still the same as for any other leave to remain. 

It is becoming more difficult for survivors of domestic abuse to leave their violent relationships as a result of the hostile environment legislation that was implemented in 2012.


How has the percentage of applications for domestic violence leave that are denied changed over time?

The denial rate has increased since the Home Office's hostile environment policy was implemented in 2012, making it more challenging for survivors to get permission to remain.

If the application is turned down, what choices are available to survivors?

Although applicants have the option to request an administrative review, between 2015 and 2018, only 2% of reviews resulted in an overturning of a decision, according to a 2018 Guardian article. If the application is denied, the right to appeal is forfeited.


To access the free information about visas and immigration, simply navigate to the relevant section on our website. You'll find a wide range of articles, guides, and resources to help you understand various visa processes, immigration requirements, and related topics.
Yes, VisaLobby strives to cover visa and immigration information for a wide range of countries across the globe. While we aim to provide comprehensive coverage, please note that the depth and breadth of information may vary for different countries.
Registering as a user on VisaLobby is easy. Simply click on the "Sign up" button on the top right corner of the website and fill in the required information. Once registered, you'll have access to full features on our website.
If you have any further questions, concerns, or feedback, you can reach out to us through the "Help" page on our website. We value user input and are always ready to assist you with any inquiries you may have.
If you need technical assistance or have inquiries about VisaLobby, you can reach our customer support team through the "Help" page on our website. Provide a detailed description of your issue or question, and our team will promptly assist you. We strive to provide excellent customer support and ensure that your experience on VisaLobby is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Yes, you can leave comments on the blog articles without registering. We encourage active participation and discussion among our users, so feel free to share your thoughts, ask questions, or provide feedback in the comments section.
After registering as a user, you can log in to your account and navigate to the blog section. There, you'll find an option to submit your article for review. Our team will review the content, ensuring it aligns with our guidelines and it will be published on the blog.
No, publishing articles on our blog is completely free for registered users. We believe in providing a platform for individuals to share their experiences, knowledge, and insights related to visas and immigration.
Yes, we strive to keep our visa and immigration information up-to-date. Our team regularly monitors and researches changes in visa policies, immigration regulations, and related topics to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and current.
Absolutely! We encourage users to share their personal visa and immigration experiences on VisaLobby. By doing so, you can provide valuable insights, tips, and support to others who may be going through similar situations.
Absolutely! We encourage users to share blog articles or other visa-related information from VisaLobby on social media platforms. By sharing valuable content, you can help spread awareness and assist others who may benefit from the information.
While we encourage users to freely express their opinions and experiences, there are certain guidelines in place to maintain the integrity and quality of the content published on the blog. Content that is offensive, discriminatory, or violates our community guidelines may not be approved for publication.
Yes, you can subscribe to our newsletter or opt-in for email notifications to receive updates on new blog articles, visa-related information, and other relevant updates from VisaLobby. Simply provide your email address and select the subscription option that suits your preferences.
If you come across inappropriate content or behaviour on VisaLobby, we encourage you to report it to our moderation team. Look for the "Report" option associated with the content or user, provide a brief explanation of the issue, and our team will review and take appropriate action.