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Our fees are calculated mainly by reference to the time spent, charged at an hourly rate, by the lawyers or other fee earners dealing with the matter. Our hourly rates for immigration advice to individuals range from £240 per hour plus VAT to £400 per hour plus VAT.
All fees stated are per main applicant only. Fees for any applications by dependents are charged in addition to fees per main applicant and such fees are typically 20 - 50% lower than for main applicants and fees for immigration status/visa extension applications (where an immigration category is of a type that can be extended) are typically 20-30% lower.
Occasionally we can offer advice for a fixed fee. A fixed fee is typically 10% - 20% higher than the upper range of the fee estimates detailed below.
We do not advise on a legal aid or “no win no fee” or similar basis.
What is not included in the fee estimate price range categories?
Each price range category entails a different range of work and services. The following (and all other work and services not included in the fee estimate price range categories above) are not included in our fees for any of the three categories:
- any work after the application has been submitted (e.g. any work to follow up on the application, such as trying to speed up processing, any steps that need to be taken after the application has been approved, advice on any residence related requirements etc), other than advising on the outcome of the application
- advice relating to visa conditions or immigration conditions attached to any UK immigration (including visa) status
- advice relating to any subsequent immigration applications, appeals, administrative reviews or reconsiderations/review requests (e.g. if an application is rejected) - other than as referred to above in the respective “Immigration appeals …”, “Administrative reviews” and “Reconsiderations/review requests” sections and where our scope of advice includes such work - or other steps that need to be taken after the application is approved
- work that is outside the scope of immigration advice/work as agreed in our engagement letter or otherwise
- any work or services that are unrelated to our UK immigration law advice
- visa application related fees or other fees paid to the Home Office, UK Visas and Immigration, any agent of the Home Office or UK Government or any other third party. Find out more about visa fees payable to the Home Office
- work carried out by any third party external to our law firm
- instructing or liaising or working with a third party, such as a barrister, financial or tax adviser, another firm of solicitors, a bank, an external expert (e.g. medical expert), translator or interpreter (this is not needed in many cases and we will let clients know as soon as possible if we consider such a third party will need to be instructed), except that us liaising and working with a barrister, as referred to in the “Immigration appeals…” section above, is included in the related fee estimate price range categories
- any costs we incur on our client’s behalf that are payable to a third party, commonly referred to as disbursements. We sometimes handle the payment of the disbursements on our client’s behalf. These can include but are not limited to:
- fees of any third party, including any barrister, external expert, translator or interpreter
- any non-standard postal fees, such as courier fees
- any transport costs, e.g. for us to attend a Home Office meeting
- charges for the transfer of funds electronically
Further, the above-mentioned fee estimate related price range categories also do not cover each and every scenario which we may advise on, for instance they do not include us advising on extraordinarily complex matters (e.g. which have additional complicating factors and/or require more work and services than is referred to in the very complex fee estimate price range category), if we are asked to instruct or liaise/work with a third party (other than us liaising and working with a barrister, as referred to in the “Immigration appeals…” section above), where steps taken or not taken by third parties that create a need for more work to be undertaken by us and/or where clients do not follow our advice.
What are the typical key stages of our work and the process for applications?
Typical key stages of work and the process for applications referred to above (other than as referred to above in the respective “Immigration appeals …”, “Administrative reviews” and “Reconsiderations/review requests” sections) are as follows:
- we assess eligibility for a UK immigration application and advise on options, including reviewing relevant information and documents
- we assist with collating a supporting documents bundle for the application, where needed
- we prepare an immigration application
- attend to any other pre-application related matters, such as passing the Life in the UK Test before applying for British citizenship or settlement in the UK
- we submit (unless there are applicable rules or other laws that prevent us from submitting on behalf of our client) or our client submits the application in person, online and/or by post, as appropriate, and pay application related fees
- wait for Home Office decision
- we advise on the outcome of the application
- collect any new immigration status document, e.g. new biometric
- residence permit or new British passport
What are the typical key stages of our work and the process for reviews?
Typical key stages of work and the process for immigration appeals (other than judicial reviews) are as follows:
- we or a barrister assess if there are grounds to bring an appeal against a Home Office decision and advise on merits and options, including reviewing relevant information and documents
- we prepare the grounds of appeal and application
- we lodge the appeal/application
- if the appeal is from the First-Tier Tribunal to the Upper Tribunal, we or a barrister prepare and lodge an application to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal (if granted, we proceed with the following key stages as is the case with an appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal)
- we advise on collating information and documents and prepare the supporting documents bundle to support our client’s appeal
- we take a witness statement(s)
- we and/or a barrister prepare the case for the full hearing and advise on complying with case related orders from the judge
- we and a barrister attend the appeal hearing with our client
- we advise on the outcome of the appeal
Typical key stages of work and the process for administrative reviews and reconsiderations/review requests (not including judicial reviews) are as follows:
- we or a barrister assess if there are grounds to lodge such requests and advise on merits and options, including reviewing relevant information and documents
- we prepare the review request
- we advise on collating information and documents to support the request
- we send the request
- we advise on the outcome of request
The key stages referred to above are not exhaustive and we can advise our clients on the actual stages of their matter after being instructed and we know more about their case.
How long will my application take?
We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process any application.
There are an extremely wide range of Home Office processing times relating to different types of immigration applications.
Valid applications can typically take between up to 3 - 6 weeks from us first being instructed to reach the stage of being approved (where, for instance, we are provided with all information and documents that we need without any delay and a “super priority” Home Office application processing service or equivalent is available and used, which service can cost many thousands of pounds) to over c.6 months or even one year depending on the type of application. We can confirm and provide more information relating to timeframes once we have sufficient information about a matter.
The Home Office website provides guidance on processing timescales, the key stages of many types of immigration applications and a wide range of visa application forms.
In some cases, preparatory steps need to be taken by our client before it is possible to apply. How long this preparatory stage takes to complete is largely or entirely out of our control, for instance if a client has to pass an English language test before applying. Some clients may need one or two weeks to prepare to apply whereas others may need far longer than one or two months to prepare to apply. In some cases, a client is also reliant on and has to wait for third parties to complete preparatory steps before it is possible to apply, e.g. to wait for a Tier 2 sponsor to obtain and assign a spare Certificate of Sponsorship or Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or for a translator to prepare lengthy translations.
Other factors that can impact on timeframes include how quickly our clients can commit to apply, how quickly and efficiently they can work with us and provide us with the necessary information and documents that we and/or the Home Office need and other factors as referred to above.
Please note the fees referred to herein are estimates based on the key factors and assumptions referred to above.
For clients who require the services of an interpreter, fees of an interpreter can quickly escalate and become a significant proportion of the overall cost to a client.
Fees of interpreters may vary widely depending on, for instance, the experience and qualifications of the interpreter, their fee structure, the type of organisation they work for, whether they are self-employed etc. A typical hourly fee range for interpreting into and/or from English, based on our previous research, may be c.£30 - £70 + VAT per hour and plus any disbursements (such as any costs they need to pay to third parties, such as travel related costs) the interpreter may incur in providing their service.
Thus, if a client were to need 2 - 9 hours of work from an interpreter (which may be a fairly normal minimum range if a client requires an interpreter and their case is relatively straightforward) their interpreter fees may be £60 - £630 + VAT and plus any disbursements, if a client were to require 10 - 15 hours of work from an interpreter their interpreter fees (which may be a fairly normal range if a client requires an interpreter and their case is complex) may be £300 - £1,050 + VAT and plus any disbursements and if a client were to require 16 - 25 hours or more of work from an interpreter (which may be a fairly normal minimum range if a client requires an interpreter and their case is very complex) their interpreter fees may be £480 - £1,750 + VAT and plus any disbursements.
This is just a possible guide to fees of an interpreter and we have no control over or input into setting interpreters’ fees, which may change from time to time, and we would not choose or instruct an interpreter for our client. The number of hours an interpreter may need to work to provide their services will vary on the complexities of the case, and a higher number of hours of work by an interpreter may be needed if the case is complex or very complex (as described above).
Our clients can if they wish bring a friend, family member or community figure etc to come and help interpret and they can select an interpreter of their own choosing.
Other types of immigration applications
Given their complexity, our fees for the following types of immigration applications typically start from c.£5,000 - £6,000 plus VAT (not including disbursements) for relatively straightforward applications and fee and other information relating to these applications (which are not covered above) can be provided to clients and prospective clients:
- asylum related applications
- statelessness applications
- human rights/private life related applications
- immigration bail/removal related applications
- legacy requests, e.g. certain unresolved applications for asylum
- judicial review