Reduce the visa application fees for immigrants.
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I am an immigrant in UK who has been living here for many years and had applied for a visa to stay in UK with Home Office. I have paid many thousands of pounds over the years as part of application process.
For years, Home Office has been increasing the visa application fees for immigrants living in this country. Recently, the increase in the fees has become enormous and is out of touch with reality. An increase of 20-25% has become normal and there is no justification as to where and how this money is being spent. There are still very long backlogs in Home Office and cases are taking twice or thrice the normal amount of time.
The fee structure has been changed over the years. In past, a dependant was able to apply with the main applicant without paying a fee as this was a joint application. Now, everyone has to pay, even the children. This has put an unspeakable financial strain on families who are struggling immensely to make ends meet.
As an immigrant, you do not have access to social funds or many benefits that are available to citizens. Also, in many cases, the employment opportunities are limited as well. As they do not have any other option, they have to cough up this money by any means possible. It results in people working 2-3 jobs at a time. Children do not get to see their parents and families are under stress constantly. I have experienced it personally and seen people struggling. As a fellow human being, I would not want any one to go through this pain. Clearly, this is not what Great Britain is about. It seems like Home Office has become a gold mine for government where they know they can increase these fees and no one will raise any voice against it. We have all emptied our pockets for many years but recently it has become unbearable to afford these costs. This situation is driving many families to poverty and forcing them to live a sub-standard life. It is time we do something about it.
We want UK government and Home Office to look into this matter and create a fee structure which is fair and just for all. If an increase is required, it should be inline with inflation and there needs to be a clarification and transparency as to how this increase is justified. It should not be treated as ransom to stay in this country.
This issue affects us all on a personal and community level. Please support this petition and raise a collective voice. We need your help to make this successful, to make our voice heard. It will eventually help you and many thousands more who suffer with these huge costs of visa fees. Please pass on this message to all your friends.
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