In recognition of the immensely valuable contribution that thousands of overseas personnel make to the UK while serving, the Government has announced that visa fees will be waived for those who have served in the UK Armed Forces for a minimum period of six years or been discharged due to an illness or injury attributable to their service.
- At present, all non-UK personnel leaving service who wish to settle in the UK have to pay the full fee of £2,389 for indefinite leave.
- The fee waiver will also apply to eligible veterans currently living in the UK who have not regularised their immigration status.
- 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.
It is expected the new policy will come into effect this Spring (2022).
MOD (Ministry of Defence). (2022) Visa Fees Scrapped for Non-UK Service Personnel. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/visa-fees-scrapped-for-non-uk-service-personnel. [Accessed: 25 February, 2022].