UK Visitor Visa Fee 2020 [Including HIDDEN Costs]

The UK visitor visa fee (cost) in 2020 is £95. This is the amount it costs for the Home Office to process your standard 6 month visitor visa application.

There are, however, different types of UK visitor visas where the Home Office fee will vary:

Application Fee
Standard 6 month UK visitor visa £95
2 year UK visitor visa £361
5 year UK visitor visa £655
10 year UK visitor visa £822
Chinese visa scheme £95
Marriage visitor visa £95
UK short term student visa £97
Private medical treatment UK visitor visa £190

#1 What is the 2 year UK visitor visa fee in 2020?

The 2-year visit visa fee in 2020 is £361.

This increased by £11 on 29 March 2019 and is likely to increase again in April 2020.

Example:

Jeremiah would like to apply for a UK visitor visa.

He will therefore have to pay a fee of £350 to the Home Office in order to submit the UK visitor visa application form in 2020.


#2 What is the 5 year UK visitor visa fee in 2020?

The 5 year UK visitor visa fee in 2020 is £655.

This increased by £19 on 29 March 2019  and is likely to increase again in April 2020.

Unsurprisingly, long-term UK visitor visa fees are higher than that of the standard 6-month UK visitor visa.


#3 What is the 10 year UK visitor visa fee in 2020?

The 10 year visitor visa fee in 2020 is £822.

This increased by £24 on 29 March 2019 and is likely to increase again in April 2020.


#4 What is the fee for Chinese nationals applying in mainland China under the Chinese visa scheme?

Chinese nationals who are applying in mainland China under the Chinese visa scheme have to pay £95 as the Home Office processing fee.

This is an increase of £2 when compared to last year’s fees and it is expected that this fee will increase in April of 2020.

In return, they will normally be issued a 2 year visa, which is substantially cheaper than the normal fee of £350 for a 2 year visitor visa.


#5 What is the UK marriage visitor visa fee in 2020?

The UK marriage visitor visa fee in 2020 is £95.

Example:

Sandra, an Indian national, would like to marry her British partner in the UK.

She hates Boris Johnson and therefore does not want to settle in the UK. Instead, Andrew and Sandra would like to live their lives together in India.

Therefore, in order for Sandra and Andrew to marry in the UK, they will need to submit a UK marriage visa.

The home office fee that will have to be paid in order to submit the application is £95.

Please note, the important differences between a marriage visitor visa and a UK fiancé(e) visa are that:

  1. Those who are applying for a fiance visa UK intend to settle in the UK. Marriage visitor visas typically do not intend to settle in the UK.
  2. A UK fiancé(e) visa can easily be extended by applying for a FLR(M) visa. Those on a marriage visitor visa, however, cannot extend their visa whilst in the UK. Instead, if they decide that they would like to settle in the UK, the marriage visitor visa applicant will need to return to their home country and apply for a UK spouse visa after the marriage has taken place.


#6 What is the UK short term student visa fee in 2020 (up to 6 months)?

The UK short-term student visa fee in 2020 is £97 for a visa with a duration of up to 6 months.


#7 What is the visa fee for a student who wants to study the English language in the UK for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months?

The fee in 2020 for a student who wants to study English in the UK for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months is £186.


#8 What is the visa fee for a private medical treatment UK visitor visa with a duration of more than 6 months but not more than 11 months?

The visa fee for a private medical treatment UK visa with a duration of more than 6 months but not more than 11 months is £190.

This increased by £4 on 29 March 2019 and is likely to increase again in April 2020.


#9 What is the visa fee for visiting academics who want a visa for more than 6 months but not more than 12 months?

The visa fee for applicants who want to visit the UK as a visiting academic is £190, if the visa duration is more than 6 months but no more than 12 months.

This increased by £4 on 29 March 2019 and is likely to increase again in April 2020.

part 2

UK Visitor Visa Fee Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

#1 How do you pay the UK visitor visa fee?

You pay the UK visitor visa fee in 2020 (otherwise known as the Home Office processing fee) via the online application website.


#2 When do you pay the UK visitor visa fee?

You can pay the UK visitor visa fee when you finish inputting your details in the UK visitor visa online application form.

The date at which you pay is the date that the application is submitted (& is otherwise known as the ‘date of application’).


#3 Do I have to pay the UK visitor visa fee?

Unfortunately, yes. Paying the UK visitor visa fee is one of the many UK visitor visa requirements in 2020.


#4 Can a family member, friend or sponsor pay my UK visitor visa fee?

Yes, the Home Office do not really care to care who pays the Home Office fee – just that they receive the money!


#5 Where can I find the official list of home office fees?

You can find the official list of Home Office fees here.


#6 Do I get a refund if my visitor visa application is refused?

Unfortunately, no. You will not get a refund if your UK visitor visa application is refused.

“Can I pay a higher visitor visa fee in order for my application to be processed more quickly?”

In most cases, yes – applicants are normally able to pay for the priority or super priority service.

We discuss this in more detail in part 3 of this article below.

part 3

Other HIDDEN UK visitor visa fees & costs

There are unfortunately a few other costs that many people overlook when planning their UK visitor visa application.

Obviously, it will be best for you if you are fully aware of the total costs ahead of time.

Other possible cost #1
Lawyers Fees

First of all, many visitor visa applicants successfully process their own UK visitor visa without the help of an immigration lawyer.

For these people, therefore, they will not spend any more money on lawyer fees.

For those who decide they want to pay for an immigration lawyer’s help, however, they tend to pay from between £500-£1,500+ in additional legal fees.


What are situations in which you probably should have an immigration lawyer help you?

#1 If you have previously been refused a UK visitor visa application

Unfortunately, it is the case that those who have previously been refused UK visas face significantly more scrutiny in subsequent UK visa applications.

This is especially the case if you have been refused for the same type of visa that you are applying for.

#2 If you are deemed a ‘high risk national’

High risk nationals face a much more difficult time to apply for a UK visitor visa than those who are applying from the US, or Canada, as an example.

The existence of ‘high-risk’ nationals is something that is quite well known to immigration lawyers.

For instance, this Guardian article states:

“In practice there are actually two lists. The first contains the 44 countries whose nationals can expect much more rigorous treatment of their visa applications. The second list is of 32 countries whose nationals face tougher action when they arrive in Britain and if they face deportation. They are updated quarterly and signed off by the immigration minister.”

#3 If you are deemed to be high-risk due to you or your family members immigration history

It is not only your immigration history that will be considered, but also that of your family members.

For instance, if your sister and brother have both previously deceived the Home Office, unfortunately, it will likely be the case that the Home Office caseworker will be somewhat more suspicious of your application.


Who does probably not need a lawyer?

Obviously, having a good immigration lawyer will make things easier for you and it will also save your time.

However, if you:

  • Have a good UK immigration history (i.e. have previously been granted UK visas in the past)
  • Are able to evidence strong ties to your home country
  • Are willing to spend the time to familiarise yourself with the Immigration Rules and how to best submit a UK visitor visa application…

… then it very well may be the case that you can save some money and not pay an immigration lawyer expensive legal fees. Hurrah!


How do I find the best immigration lawyer to help with my UK visitor visa?

There are a few things that you should consider:

#1 The immigration lawyers credentials

Not all immigration lawyers are created equally and the difference in quality in immigration lawyers is probably something that is quite substantial.

#2 Other questions to ask are…

  • How long has the immigration lawyer been an immigration lawyer?
  • Are they an immigration lawyer full time or do they only spend a few hours a week on immigration law just to supplement their income from their main job?
  • Do they specialise in any particular fields of UK immigration?
  • Have they got any Home Office experience?
  • Are they able to provide any reviews or testimonials?

How do immigration lawyers help their UK visitor visa clients?

How immigration lawyers help their clients is something that can range quite broadly but the following is how we help our clients.

  • Help identify the best visa for you (and your family, if relevant), whether that is a UK visitor visa or not;
  • Provide you with a list of documents that you should gather (for more information about the documents that you should submit, check out our article “What are the documents required for a UK Visitor Visa? (2020 Document Checklist)“;
  • Help you and assist you with the gathering of these documents;
  • Review each of these documents to ensure that they comply with the Immigration Rules;
  • Obtain the most relevant information from you that should be included in the application in order to give you the best chance of success;
  • Complete the relevant visa application forms on your behalf;
  • Write a legal covering letter, stating the law and applying it to your individual facts in a persuasive manner (a template can be found in our “Sample Letter for UK Tourist Visa Application (2020 Cover Letter Template)” article;
  • Submit the application on your behalf; and
  • Deal with any Home Office correspondence, if there are any.

Other possible cost #2
 Translations

If you are going to include documents that are not in English or Welsh, the general rule is that these should be translated.

Translators generally charge from between £60-120 per document, which is obviously quite expensive.

It is also important to note that the translator should be qualified in translating – translating is not really something that you should do yourself.

Total cost: £0-250+


Other possible cost #3

Priority UK visitor visa services (for those who want to reduce the UK visitor visa processing time)

#1 What is the Priority UK visitor visa service?

The priority visitor visa service is an optional service that can reduce the UK visitor visa processing time from the standard processing time of up to 3 weeks.


#2 How much does the Priority UK visitor visa service cost?

The priority visa service for UK visitor visas will cost £220 (depending on the current exchange rate).

The priority visa service of £220 is the new fee from 29 March 2019 and is an increase of £8 from the previous year. This is expected to increase in April 2020.

It is also important to note that, if you choose to opt for the UK visitor visa priority visa, this must be paid in addition to the Home Office standard processing fee.

Therefore, to take the example of a standard 6 months visitor visa, it will be £95 (which is the standard Home Office processing fee) + the priority fee of approximately £220 (depending on exchange rate). This totals to about £315, again, depending on exchange rates.

To give you an example, if you submit a UK visitor visa from Argentina, this will cost USD 297, as seen on the VFS website.

USD 297, at the time of writing this article, equates to approximately £229.

Please note:

If you are looking to pay for a priority visa service for a UK visitor visa, make sure that you choose the standard ‘Priority Visa Service’.

argentina priority visitor visa fee

The ‘Priority Visa for settlement or migration service’ is NOT for visitor visas.

Rather, it is for the following visas:

To give you the example of submitting a UK visitor visa in Johannesburg, South Africa, the priority visa service will cost you exactly £220, as stated on this TLS page.

priority visa service South Africa

You’ll see here that the super priority visa service is also available for £956. We discuss super priority visa services in more detail below.


#3 How long take does the priority visa service for UK visitor visas take?

The priority visa service for UK visitor visas reduces the processing time from to, on average, 5-7 working days.

The standard phrasing of the VFS and TLS websites is that you will be:

put your application at the front of the queue at every stage of the decision-making process’.

It is important to again note that the service standard for the priority visa service can vary from visa centre to visa centre.

Argentina (which is managed by VFS), for instance, states here that:

‘UK Visas and Immigration aims to make a decision on your Priority Visa application, and contact you to let you know that your passport is ready to be collected within 7 working days from when you submit your biometric information.’

To use the example of Johannesburg, South Africa again, the TLS page states that:

‘UKVI aims to make a decision on your Priority Visa application, and contact you to let you know that your passport is ready to be collected within 5 working days from when you submit your biometric information.’


#4 Does using the priority visa service guarantee that my UK visitor visa application will be successful?

Unfortunately, the priority visa service does not guarantee that your UK visitor visa application is successful.


#5 How do I check whether a priority service or super priority service is an available service at the visa centre that I am submitting the application at?

For VFS websites

1. Log into the VFS website here.

2. Select the country that you will be submitting the UK visitor visa application from.

VFS website country selection

3. Select premium services in the menu bar, as in the below image:

select premium services vfs

4. Scroll down to the sub-heading “Priority Visas – Offered by UK Visas & Immigration” and you will then see the available priority visa services.

priority visa services vfs

Just like the above example in the image, you will normally see a few options.

Again, disregard the priority services that relates to ‘settlement’, as a UK visitor visa not a settlement visa.

If it does not mention a super priority visa service here, then it is most likely that such a service is not available in the visa centre that you are making the application from.

For TLS websites

1. Log into the TLS website. It is specifically the country selection webpage that you want to go to. You can find the link here.

TLS different countries

2. Select the country of which you are going to submit the UK visitor visa application.

TLS country selection webpage

Most applicants opt to choose the visa centre that is closest to them.

However, if you are looking to get the priority or super priority service and the closest centre to you does not offer such a service, it may be worthwhile checking other visa centres near you to see if they offer the service that you are after.

3. Select ‘Added value services’ in the menu bar.

added value services tls

4. You will then see a list of the added value services that are available for that particular visa centre. The priority visa service is listed as ‘Priority Visa Service (Non Settlement)’.

priority visa services tlsAgain, it is worth stressing that it is the ‘Non Settlement’ service that you are after.


#6 Who should not consider a priority service for UK visitor visas?

Both VFS and TLS make it clear that there are certain categories of applicants who should not use either a priority service or a super priority service.

Applications that are ‘not straightforward’ are generally advised against using the priority or super priority service.

This is because, if the application is deemed not straightforward, then it is unlikely that they will be able to process the application within the normal priority service timeframe.

The following applications are deemed ‘not straightforward’:

  • If the applicant has previously been refused leave to enter the UK;
  • If the applicant has previous been refused a UK visa;
  • If the applicant has previously overstayed a visa in the UK;
  • If the applicant has had leave that has been curtailed (cut short) by the Home Office;
  • If the applicant has been removed, deported or has been made to leave the UK;
  • If the applicant has previously been refused a visa for Australia, Canada, United States, New Zealand, or the Schengen countries;
  • If the applicant has been detailed, interviewed, or prosecuted by the police for an office;
  • If the applicant has committed a criminal offence in any country;
  • If the applicant has an unspent criminal conviction in any country.

Other possible cost #4 
Super Priority Visa Service

#1 What is the super priority visitor visa service?

The Super Priority Visa service is an optional service that generally reduces the Home Office processing time for a UK visitor visa to one working day.

It is the fastest way for your UK visitor visa application to be processed.


#2 How long does super priority visitor visa service take?

In the majority of cases, the application will be considered within 24 hours.

With this being said, you should check the relevant VFS/TLS page as the service standard can differ (e.g. in some cases it may states more than 1 working day).


#3 How much does the super priority visitor visa service cost?

The Home Office fees list (here) lists the super priority visa cost as £956.

This is the price that you will need to pay in addition to the standard UK visitor visa fee.

Therefore, to take the example of an applicant who is applying for a standard 6 month visitor visa, they will have to pay the standard Home Office fee of £95 in addition to the super priority fee of £956.

This totals to £1,051.

You should note that this £956 figure, can vary, however.

For example, the VFS USA page lists the super priority service fee as USD 1,289, which equates to £997 at time of writing:

On the other hand, the TLS page for Johannesburg, South Africa, lists the price as £960 at time of writing.

Unfortunately, the super priority visitor visa service fee not be refunded if your application is refused.


#4 Who should not consider a super priority service for UK visitor visas?

Applications that will be deemed ‘not straightforward’ may not benefit from the faster processing times.

To remind you, the following applications are deemed ‘not straightforward’:

  • If the applicant has previously been refused leave to enter the UK;
  • If the applicant has previous been refused a UK visa
  • If the applicant has previously overstayed a visa in the UK
  • If the applicant has had leave that has been curtailed (cut short) by the Home Office
  • If the applicant has been removed, deported or has been made to leave the UK
  • If the applicant has previously been refused a visa for Australia, Canada, United States, New Zealand, or the Schengen countries
  • If the applicant has been detailed, interviewed, or prosecuted by the police for an office;
  • If the applicant has committed a criminal offence in any country
  • If the applicant has an unspent criminal conviction in any country

Therefore, such applicants should carefully consider spending the extra money on the priority service.


Other possible cost #5
Other Premium Services

There are also some other additional, optional services that you may decide to take advantage of.

With this being said, the feedback that we have received from clients who have chosen to use these additional VFS or TLS services has been pretty poor.

Other examples of optional services are:

  • Document translations;
  • Group service (being able to apply as a group); and
  • Form filling & document checking service (feedback has been particularly poor regarding these as the quality of advice was shockingly bad).

You can check what optional ‘premium’ services are available for the visa centre that you apply from by following the steps outlined above.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the UK visitor visa fee paid?

The UK visitor visa fee is paid on the online application. It can be paid by either credit or debit card.

Can someone other than the applicant pay the visit visa fee?

Absolutely. The Home Office do not really care who pays – as long as they get their money!

Will the UK visitor visa fee be refunded if my application is refused?

Unfortunately, it will not be refunded. This is one of the several reasons why it is important to take the time to familiarise yourself with the visitor visa requirements!

Will I have to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge is not required for standard 6 month visitor visas.

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