Additional information

Initial consultation:

If you prefer you can arrange to have an initial consultation.  You can telephone our office and ask to speak to a solicitor about your immigration matters and to arrange to meet.  If we think we can be of assistance, we will invite you to our office to discuss your case with us.   At the initial consultation, we will give you comprehensive verbal advice about your case and make recommendations as to how you should proceed, we will also give you an indication of what we will charge you to do the work.  Once you have met with us there is no obligation to instruct us to take your case any further if you do not wish to.

Once you have instructed us, and we have accepted your instruction we are bound by our professional obligations including confidentiality and we may not communicate anything you have told us to anyone else without your permission.

At the outset, we will be informed about the work which you have instructed us to undertake and the anticipated cost, as well as any other costs that we expect will be associated with your application.  We are always happy to carefully explain the various steps and there is no obligation on you to instruct us further if you do not wish to.

It is important to note that in our first meeting we will clearly sets out the scope of the work we have agreed to do for you and the price quoted is for our services up to the point that a decision is made on your application.  If your application is refused, or if there are further steps you would like us to take, we will provide you with a further quotation for those services. We will give you the best information we can about the likely overall cost of the matter at the outset and at other appropriate times.

We will also set out all the other terms of our arrangement with you and wherever possible we will also provide you with an estimate of how long it will take to prepare your application and how long the Home Office may take to make a final decision on your application.

If your application is unsuccessful, or if you need to make further applications or submissions in order to achieve your aim, we will advise you on those costs before undertaking any further work on your behalf.  To be clear, the costs of reconsideration, appeals to first tier tribunal, upper tribunal, or any other court, administrative or judicial reviews are not included in the initial application fees guide provided.

 

How long to prepare:

We will always provide you with our estimate of how long it will take to prepare your application for submission. This will be dependent on various factors, such as complexity of the matter, number of applicants/dependants or evidence required. Generally, a typical application will be prepared within 1 – 3 weeks of receiving the information required. Of course, this can vary, however should we foresee that the process will take longer than initially anticipated, we will keep you updated at all times. Please note that we will also advise on the Home Office processing times, however this will depend on the application submitted and method of submission. Every application is different, and each client’s circumstances are unique. This makes it difficult to provide an exact overview of an application.

 

Information we will require from you:

Initially we will ask you to provide us with information, so we can identify who you are.  You will need to provide us with photographic proof of your identity and proof of your current address.  Depending on your circumstances, we may require further information from you.

 

Advice, preparation and submission of application:

Depending on what you have instructed us to do, or the type of application, or your particular circumstances and the time frames, we may provide  our advice to you and our recommended course of action. We will ask you to provide us with the information we need to start doing the work you have instructed us to.  The speed with which you provide us with the information we ask for, and its accuracy, will have the most significant impact on the timing of your case and how long it takes us to prepare and finalise your application.

The Immigration Rules and policies are constantly changing and as we prepare your matter and complete the application forms it may become apparent that we require information or details which we had not asked you for before.  Again, the speed and accuracy with which you are able to provide these will impact on how quickly we can complete the work.

Where applicable we will complete the application form on your behalf, and we will ask you to confirm that all the information on the form is accurate.  This is your responsibility and if there are any errors, or omissions, or information which is incorrect ( for example you have not advised us of a criminal conviction, or previous immigration history, refusal, ) it is up to you to ensure that this is correct.  The consequences of providing incorrect information to home office or British embassy / High commission can be severe.

We will prepare a final application form and ask you to confirm that this is correct before we submit this on your behalf.  Again, we stress the importance of ensuring that this information is absolutely accurate.

Depending on the type of application there are various methods of submission, all taking different lengths of time and with different associated costs.  This may include postal applications, Priority Service and the Super Premium Service.  At the outset of your matter we will tell you which of these is available to you, depending on your particular application and circumstances, and the likely costs.  We will discuss this with you, and we will agree which option we will select depending on time and cost.

 

How and When the Home Office fees, and Immigration Health surcharge feesare payable:

In all our home office applications you need to pay the home office fees from either from your debit or credit card and we will not accept home office fees to our account or will not pay them to the Home Office on your behalf.

You might need to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’ or IHS) as part of your immigration application. Whether you need to pay depends on the immigration status you are applying for.If you are making your immigration application online, you pay the surcharge as part of your application or when you book an appointment.If you are applying by post, you pay the surcharge online before you send your application. You will need to include the IHS reference number on your application form. The immigration health surcharge fee you need to pay from either from your debit or credit card and we will not accept immigration health surcharge fees to our account or will not pay them on your behalf.

 

Home office application Processing times:

The processing times for your application will vary depending on the application service you select and where the application is being made. At the outset we will advise you of the likely time frames of your application.  The Home Office does publish guidelines about how long they take to process various types of applications, but these are only guidelines.   We cannot guarantee how long the Home Office will take to process your application, but we can give further information on the application options and likely time frames as part of the advice we will provide to you if instructed.

We will advise you, based on our experience, how long the Home Office usually takes to make a decision on the kind of application you have instructed us to make. Also based on our experience, we will advise how long it is likely to take us to prepare your application and the factors which may speed up or delay that process.

 

Home office decision:

The Home Office will usually advise us directly about the outcome of your application and where applicable will usually send your passport, or biometric permit, or other documents to us.  We will advise you as soon as we have this and make arrangements as to how to get this to you.

If we have submitted home office application online, they will return the original documents, biometric card  and the passport to you personally at your biometric appointment time and your new biometric card will be posted to you directly to your home address.

We will also tell you about any expiry or renewal dates which are applicable, and what steps you will need to take to make sure you meet these dates.  We will advise you of the consequences of not meeting these dates.

 

Costs:

To ensure our clients and our potential clients have the information they need to make informed choices about the services offered by Ashfield Solicitors, we set out below a guide to our fees. As a specialist immigration firm, we undertake the broadest range of immigration work and this guide deals largely with the work that we undertake on behalf of members of the public. We guide clients and their families through the full immigration process, from visa/entry clearance applications, extension applications, to indefinite leave to remain (ILR), to obtaining British citizenship and passports. We have extensive knowledge of advising individuals on human rights claims and appeals.

We do not provide a generic service – we understand every client is different and so always provide a personalised service with solutions tailored to the client’s priorities and preferences. Our clients are given an agreed cost after our initial meeting. There are some areas where we are able to be more indicative andwe have published our price and service information where it is possible to be upfront about charges without knowing all the details of the matter. The estimates set out here have been provided to give a range of likely fees for standard applications. Once we have further information about your personal circumstances, the nature of the assistance you require,an understanding of the issues, complexities and urgencies around your individual case, we will provide you with a bespoke quote.  Our firm does not undertake legal aid work, so meaning that our clients must privately fund any application that they wish our firm to prepare and submit to either the Home Office, Her Majesty’s Passport Office or Immigration Tribunal / courts.

The information below relates to these circumstances and these are indicated as such in this guide.

Depending on the type of application and the client’s circumstances, our work is charged on an agreed fixed fee basis, ensuring transparency from the outset, with no hidden charges or additional costs. An agreed fee, which will not be varied up or down, is not dependent on the application being successful. A solicitor will assess your situation and provide you with an agreed fee to assist with your case. This gives you a level of cost certainty to get you to a particular resolution. For some areas, we are able to do this in stages of your case which gives you even more flexibility. In our first consultation, we will advise you as to the legal options available on the facts of your case, the procedures that need to be followed in respect of those options and the evidence required to support a suitable application. Should you thereafter wish to instruct this firm to further advise and assist in the preparation of such an application we shall provide an agreed fee.  As set out below, any disbursements or expenses (costs that we incur on your behalf or for the purposes of carrying out our work) are payable in addition to our fees.

 

Key stages

Our lawyers provide strategic alternatives and procedural timing options right for the circumstances of each client, and although the majority of immigration applications follow three key stages, the timeframe for each will depend on the type of application, country where the application is being submitted, the type of service chosen, and any specific complexities related to the matter.

Stage 1 – Obtaining instructions, providing strategic advice and preparation of application.

Factoring in the needs of each client, the completion of stage 1 can take from a few days to a few weeks/months depending on the individual circumstances and the timings of the strategic plan agreed.

Stage 2 – Submission of application, consideration and decision-making by the Home Office.

Home Office processing times can vary between 24 hours to over six months, depending on the type of application, the availability of premium services, the country from which the application is made, and any case-specific complexities.

Stage 3 – Post-decision advice. 

Once an application has been decided we promptly provide post-decision advice, explaining the next steps.

The circumstances of each individual applicant is unique and it is notoriously difficult to provide a single price which would cover all eventualities, so when considering whether or not you would like to engage our services for any of the applications set out in the guide below, it is essential to take careful note of the following information:

 

Value Added Tax  (VAT)

All of the prices quoted in this guide exclude VAT, which is charged at 20%. This is charged at the prevailing rate and is payable on our fees and on most expenses which we are likely to incur on your behalf.  There may be some situations in which VAT is not payable.  We can provide guidance on this.

 

What is typically included in our agreed fees

These fees represent our professional fees; in other words, this is the amount that we will charge for the legal work that our firm will undertake on your case. Due to the individual nature of each application, the services provided to each client may differ. Generally, in each standard application, our services will involve:

  • Taking full instructions from you in order to provide initial assessment, advice on the key requirements and how these apply to your circumstances
  • Discussing your circumstances in detail and confirming whether this is the most appropriate application for you to make and what other options may be available to you, procedure, and on likely time frames
  • Advising you about the relevant law and procedures, requirements of the Immigration Rules, EEA Regulations or citizenship laws and whether you meet the criteria
  • Providing you with detailed advice on the criteria, evidence and procedure requirements for your application,a comprehensive list of necessary documents and information, and templates where appropriate
  • If you do not fulfil certain criteria, whether this can be overcome and how
  • Reviewing and collating supporting documents
  • Preparing the relevant application forms, providing written supporting legal representations,submitting these on your behalf and booking any necessary appointments
  • Liaising with the Home Office as required with regard to the application and generally dealing with the matter until a decision is reached on the application
  • Giving you advice about the outcome of the application and any further steps you need to take, explaining your new immigration or nationality status, including information about how to remain compliant with your visa conditions and the eligibility criteria for extensions and indefinite leave to remain.

 

What is not included

Any costs which we may incur on your behalf are not included in our professional fees. These can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Payments made to the Home Office on your behalf, such as home office application fees, entry clearance fees, Immigration Health Surcharge, submission costs etc.
  • Payments made to third parties on your behalf (HM Passport Office).
  • Counsel’s fees. In the event of us seeking the advice of a Barrister (Counsel) you will be liable for their fees which vary depending on seniority. We will discuss with you, options and costs in relation to Counsel before instructing them on your behalf and we shall keep you informed as to their fees.
  • Fees payable to Courts or Tribunals.
  • External Translation fees.
  • Costs of Experts or Agents instructed on your behalf
  • Non-routine postage charges and courier charges.
  • For a representative of Ashfield Solicitors to attend with you at the Home Office’s Public Enquiry Office or premium centre in the UK.
  • Travel and meeting expenses.
  • Non-routine Photocopying and print services.
  • Document Certification Fees.
  • Document scanning and uploading documents to Home office

 

Factors which could increase the overall cost of your case

This applies where an agreed fixed fee is quoted for a standard application. Some examples are:

  • Unexpected circumstances in your immigration history or personal circumstances, which we were not aware of at the outset.
  • Possessing other factors which make the application more complex such as a criminal record or a history of non-compliance with UK immigration.
  • Delays in obtaining information requested.
  • Information provided being inaccurate, out of date, inadequate or requiring translation.
  • The nature and number of any required supporting statements.
  • Where there are short deadlines / urgency of the matter.
  • The level of documentation available and any issues in obtaining this.
  • Where the application is being made and any particular additional services you wish to use.
  • Considering the supporting evidence you have provided, whether they need to be translated, whether anything is missing and how long it will take to obtain the missing documents.
  • Where necessary, helping you obtain further evidence (such as medical records and bank statements), including taking statements of any witnesses
  • Liaising with third parties where required to obtain additional evidence, such as medical records, accountants or financial institutions.
  • Whether the application is an initial one, an extension or an application for indefinite leave to remain.
  • Whether there are any dependants and their personal circumstances.
  • If Counsel is required to provide written advice and/or to represent you as part of an appeal process.
  • The number of tribunal appearances required.
  • The complexity of the legal issues involved; we will always advise you on this.

 

Factors which could decrease the overall cost of your case

This applies where a fixed fee is quoted for doing the work. Some examples are:

  • Where we have undertaken work on your behalf in the past and your immigration history is familiar to us;
  • Where we do multiple applications for the same organisation or family;
  • Where you are able to provide sufficient evidence at our first meeting and clearly meet the applicable Immigration Rules.

 

When fees payable:

Our professional fees, as well as the anticipated Home Office fees and any other fees which we have told you about, will usually be payable at the start of your matter.  We can discuss this with you and make arrangements to suit your circumstances and the time frames of your matter. In the event of your instructions being withdrawn prior to the submission of the application, the agreed fixed fee, together with any disbursements and expenses, will remain payable in full. After having agreed a fee, if you withdraw instruction, we will not issue any refund.We will inform when our fees are due, and when you will have to pay the Home Office fees.

 

How and When the Home Office application fees, Immigration Health surcharge fees, court fees, UK passport application fees payable:

In all our home office applications, home office fees, immigration health surcharge fee, UK passport application fees, court fees, you need to pay from either from your debit or credit card and we will not accept home office fees, immigration health surcharge fee, court fees,  UK passport application fees, to our account or will not pay them on your behalf.

Home office application fees, immigration health surcharge,  court fees, barristers fees, UK passport application fees, translation fees must be paid before we book your appointment with or submit your application.

 

Unpaid fees or costs:

If you do not pay all the fees and costs associated with your application, we may decline to submit your application.  If we do submit your application and there remain fees and costs outstanding at the conclusion of your matter, we are entitled to retain your documents, including originals, until all our fees have been settled.

Please note that the guide below sets out the prices for different types of immigration applications, but individual circumstance may call for a combination of applications or for some intervention in advance of the application. We will always advise you about this and the anticipated cost. We make sure that there will be nothing unexpected. As your matter progresses, should it become clear that further costs may be necessary, we will, of course, provide an update at the earliest opportunity.

 

Immigration Fees

You can read more about the fees for certain types of immigration applications and appeals here.