7 HIDDEN FLR(M) & Spouse Visa Extension Fees & Costs in 2021

Want the latest COVID-19 updates as they relate to UK partner visas?

We discuss this in detail in our Partner & Spouse visa Coronavirus (COVID-19) update article.

The FLR(M) & spouse visa extension fee (cost) in 2021 is £1,033. This is the amount that you will have to pay the Home Office in order to process your application. 

You should also know, however, that there are other costs that will result in you having to pay more than this £1,033.

Spouse visa extension fee in 2021 £1,033
Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) £1,560
Housing Report £80-120
Copy of the title deeds £3
Priority (premium) visa services £1,299.99+
Lawyer fees £285-£1,850+
Bank statements £0-80
English language test £150
Translations £0-300+

“Who is the FLR(M) application for?”

First of all, it may be worthwhile clarifying who an FLR(M) visa application is for.

As we discuss in our free, in-depth FLR M visa 2021 guidance article, the FLR(M) visa application is for:

  • a non-British national who does not have Indefinite Leave to Remain or Permanent residence…
  • who is in the UK when the online application is submitted…
  • who wants to remain in the UK
  • & is in a relationship to a British or ‘settled’ partner.

The FLR(M) applicant (the person who is applying for the FLR(M) visa) must be in a relationship with:

  • A British citizen; or
  • A person with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR); or
  • A person with Permanent residency under EU law;
  • A person with humanitarian protection in the UK;
  • A person who has refugee status in the UK.

The FLR(M) applicant (the person who is applying for the FLR(M) visa) must also be in one of the following relationships:

  • A marriage (including those who recently married in the UK on a Fiance Visa UK)
  • A civil partnership (including those who recently married in the UK on a UK proposed civil partnership visa)
  • An ‘unmarried’ partner who has lived with the person for at least two years prior to the application being submitted in a relationship similar to marriage.

If you want more information about processing a FLR(M) visa application, check our in-depth guide here.

Now that we have got that out of the way, let’s discuss the other costs that you may have to pay towards the FLR(M) visa / spouse visa extension.

FLR M visa DIY Application Pack

immigration health surcharge

HIDDEN COST #1

Immigration Health Surcharge Fee 

You will need to pay £1,560 in order for the FLR(M) visa to be processed.

Yes, payment of this is required even if the applicant and/or UK partner pays UK taxes.

Unfortunately, this is a mandatory £1,560 fee will need to be paid in addition to the £1,033 FLR(M) Home Office processing fee.

Total cost: £1,560

accommodation fees visaHIDDEN COST #2

Accommodation Documents

If you have already read our free & detailed spouse visa extension guide, you will know that that in order to apply for the FLR(M) visa, you will need to prove that the accommodation is ‘adequate’.

If you will be relying on rented UK accommodation

The additional cost will be zero if you will be renting accommodation.

This is because landlords and estate agents are normally happy to write letters for you, for free.

If you will be relying on UK accommodation that is owned by you, your partner or you and your partner jointly

In this case, it may be the case that you will have to incur extra costs.

In particular, in order to evidence that the accommodation is indeed owned by you and/or your partner, then you may have to obtain a copy of the title register/deeds.

Fortunately, however, this costs as little as £3 and can be obtained here .

A larger cost will be incurred if you choose to pay a chartered surveyor for a housing report.

Chartered surveyors tend to charge £90 on average for them to provide you with a Housing Report. This figure, like most things, will be higher if you are (or will be) based in London.

But do you need a Housing Report?

As we discuss in our article, “Is a Housing Report or Property Inspection report required for a UK spouse visa or partner visa in 2021?” the answer is, for most people, no.

If you are relying on UK accommodation that is either rented or owned by a family or friend

The additional costs involved with obtaining required accommodation documents is fact-specific on the agreement between you and the family/friend and whether the accommodation is rented by them or owned.

If you’d like to save time and ensure a greater chance of a successful visa application, as part of our DIY Application Pack Service, we will provide you with:

  • A tailored & incredibly detailed list of documents, both required and recommended
  • A tailored set of letter templates; and
  • General email support.

Total cost: £0-£90+

home office translation

HIDDEN COST #3

Document Translations

If you would like to submit a document that is not in either English or Welsh, it must be translated.

Unfortunately, depending on the document that you are considering submitting, this can be an unavoidable cost.

Unfortunately, you can’t save some money and do the translating yourself, unless you are a qualified translator.

“How much will I need to pay to get the documents translated?”

The cost will vary depending on the particular document that needs translation.

These are some documents that you will typically need translated:

  • Birth certificates (if it is required in your application)
  • Marriage certificates
  • Degree certificates (if being used to rely on in order to meet the English language requirement)
  • Divorce certificates
  • Death certificates

The average cost to translate a one-page document stands at around £60 whilst a two-page document is likely to set you back £85.

Total cost: £0-300+

FLR M visa DIY Application Pack

bank statements visa extension

HIDDEN COST #4

Bank Statements

This cost will only have to be paid if your bank charges extra to provide you with Immigration Rule compliant bank statements.

Two examples of banks who, from our experience, charge extra for original bank statements are Coutts and Yorkshire bank.

One of our clients (who was banking with Yorkshire bank) were recently charged £85 for the posting of 12 month’s worth of bank statements. They even refused to stamp each page of an online statement printout, failing to certify them!

Luckily, the majority of banks will not charge extra and will gladly certify bank statements.

Total cost: £0-85

visa extension language test

HIDDEN COST #5

English Language Test Costs

As we discuss in our comprehensive FLR(M) visa 2021 guidance, there are several ways to satisfy the English language requirement.

Therefore, depending on the route that you rely on, you might not have to spend any additional money to meet the English language requirement.

First of all, nationals of English speaking countries will not need to incur any extra costs. This is because, in order to meet the English language requirement, all they will need to do is to submit their passport.

However, most people will have to sit an English language test at A2 level.

Taking the IELTS Life Skills test, will cost £150.

Taking it at Trinity College London will also cost you £150.

You will be charged £150 per test that you attempt.

Therefore, if you don’t pass the test first time round, you will have to spend more money to retake it.

If you want to save money and your English is good enough, we recommend that you take the B1 test.

Since the same English language certificate will normally be able to be relied on, you will be able to re-use this same B1 English language test when you apply for Indefinite Leave to remain.

higher level english language test

Total cost: £0-150+

premium visa services

HIDDEN COST #6

Priority (Premium) Visa Services

The spouse visa extension fee of £1,033 does NOT include some other services that you may want to consider.

If you would like to reduce the FLR(M) processing time, you can choose to opt for the ‘priority‘ or ‘super priority‘ service.

#1 The priority service.

For an additional £500, you will be able to reduce the expected waiting time from 8 weeks to 5 working days.


#2 Super priority service.

On the other hand, if you are willing to spend £800, you will be able to reduce the expected waiting time from 8 weeks to the next working day.


#3 Document scanning. 

Partners who do not want to submit their documents by uploading them will need to pay an additional fee for a document scanning service.

The document scanning service, in summary, involves the following:

  • After paying the Home Office fees on the spouse visa uk online application form website for 2021, the applicant/sponsor will book an appointment at a UK visa centre;
  • The applicant will attend the appointment at a UK centre with the supporting documents;
  • The applicant will then hand over the supporting documents and the UKVCAS staff will scan these documents (which, other than the applicant’s passport, can be copies) and they will then return all of the supporting documents.

If you booked an appointment at a UKVCAS Enhanced Service Point or purchased the ‘premium lounge‘ service, the Document Scanning service is included.

However, if not, you will need to pay an additional £49.99 for this service.

Total cost: £0-£1,299.99+

immigration lawyer feesHIDDEN COST #7

Spouse Visa Extension Lawyer Fees

Immigration lawyer fees – do you have to pay them?

In short, no.

But, will hiring a lawyer save you time and take some stress away from the whole visa experience?

Yes, IF you hire the right immigration lawyer.

‘If’ is the key word here.

By paying an immigration lawyer to represent your case, they should help you complete the application from start to finish, and will be legally responsible for how your application is submitted.

We charge £1,850 for full legal representation (although there will be other immigration advisors who will charge less than this).

You can click on this link here and find an OISC immigration advisor near you – plenty of these firms will offer full legal representation for less than £1,850.

It is rather unlikely, however, that the advisor that you will deal with will not have Ed Lowe’s 20+ years experience working for the Home Office (with many of those years being a senior Home Office executive).

Those who would rather not pay thousands in legal fees may opt for our unique £285 DIY Application Pack Service.

With this service, we will tailor the document checklists and letter templates specifically for you, in keeping with the information you provide us.

In any event, we are always happy to help, whether you choose to purchase our services or not.

This is why we’ve worked rather hard on putting together the free guides you can find here:

Total cost: £285-£1,850+


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is the Home Office fee paid?

The Home Office fee is paid when you submit the online application. This date is technically known as the ‘date of application’.

Is the Immigration Health Surcharge compulsory?

The Immigration Health Surcharge is indeed compulsory. If you do not pay it, then your application will not be valid.

Will I receive a refund of the Home Office fee if my application is refused?

Unfortunately, you will not get a refund on the Home Office fee if your application is refused. This is another reason why it is so important to ensure that you are fully familiar of the visa requirements.

Can someone other than the applicant pay the Home Office fee?

Absolutely. It is usually the case that the UK partner (otherwise known as the sponsor) pays the Home Office fee. It is also fine for a family or friend to pay it.


SUMMARY

Whilst there are some costs that you can’t avoid (i.e. Immigration Health Surcharge), many of the costs are optional.

It’s always useful to know the cost of the services that are on offer, to help you decide what is best for you and your application.

Feel free to check out our DIY Application Pack Service if you would like to receive a custom tailored document checklist and letter templates.

Alternatively, if you would like one of our immigration advisors to handle your case from start to finish, we charge £1,850 for our Full Legal Representation Service.

FLR M visa DIY Application Pack

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