The UK has made changes to the way applicants apply for visas through its premium service which means paying the cost and booking fee up front. Most applicants booking a premium appointment at a public enquiry office (PEO) will now be asked to pay the full application cost and booking fee upfront using a new online system.
‘The new process will help applicants access PEO appointments and at the same time tackle those who are abusing the booking system,’ said a UK Border Agency spokesman. ‘The automated payment system will collect the whole fee upfront. This includes the application fee, the premium fee of £375 and non refundable appointment fee of £100. The £100 fee is to confirm the appointment,’ he explained.
Under the new system applicants can manage appointments in the normal way through their online account. If you applicants do not attend their appointment or cancel it with five or less working days notice the £100 fee will not be refunded. The application fee depends on the type of application. It is higher than the fee for making the same application by post. The spokesman pointed out that the fee is for consideration of the application, it does not guarantee that the application will be approved.
Quote from ExpatForum.com : “Hi everyone, I am going to Malaysia soon to marry a Malaysian girl whom I met in the UK. We were both studying together and she worked in London for 5 years (her employer dealt with visas for this period but now it has ran out after she left). We are going to get married out there and then apply for a spouse visa for her to come back to Scotland with me. She has a lot of savings here which I think will help but not sure ?? She is also highly skilled and has a UK degree!”
‘We will not refund your fee if we refuse your application or you withdraw it, so applicants should ensure that they meet the requirements for their type of application and bring all the required documents to the appointment at the public enquiry office,’ said the spokesman. He also pointed out that for some types of application dependants, such as husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner and children under 18, can be included on the application form. For other types of application dependants cannot be included on the application form and applicants should check the information about application types. If you cannot include dependants on the application form, or if the dependant applies separately at a different time or on another form, they must pay the appropriate fee.
When they book an appointment applicants will be directed to pay online. The fee will include an appointment booking fee of £100 per applicant. ‘When we process the payment an electronic payment sheet will be available to download and print. This includes a unique payment reference number. You must bring the payment sheet to your appointment with your signed application form and supporting documents. If you do not bring the payment sheet your appointment will be cancelled and the £100 appointment fee per applicant will be retained,’ the spokesman explained.
Applicants who do not attend or have to cancel their appointment can request a refund by email but a refund will only be given to the person that paid the fee for the application. The refund will take up to 28 days and will be issued onto the card used to pay the appointment fee. A refund onto an alternate card can only be issued if the original card has expired or been cancelled.