Earlier this week, the outcome of the visa immigration fee public consultation was announced.
The aim of the consultation was to invite interested parties to answer several questions concerning the policy on waiving fees for Non-UK Service Personnel who meet certain criteria when applying for settlement in the UK at the end of their service in the UK Armed Forces.
Pete Hawley, the Naval Families Federation immigration advisor, who contributed to the consultation said “It is fantastic to hear the news that the public consultation into the waiving of settlement fees for our non-UK personnel has concluded in favour of waiving the fees for those that have served six years, been medically discharged or veterans who have not yet regularised their stay. Many thanks to all the RN, RM personnel, and families that took part in the consultation process. This is a great example of how you can make your voice count. I now look forward to seeing this implemented later this spring and assisting our personnel with the application process.”
Due to the significant interest and noticeable importance of the consultation to the public- receiving over 6000 responses, the Government has decided to implement a fee waiver for service personnel dependent who meet certain criteria as the waiver is dependent on legislation. This is expected to take effect in spring.
Currently, there are over 9,000 non-UK citizens serving in the UK armed forces from countries around the world including Australia, Canada, Fiji, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, St Lucia and South Africa, many of whom may consider applying for indefinite leave to remain in the UK when their service ends.