`Fees too high for doorstep biometric enrollment service’: Immigration lawyer

  `Home Office should concentrate on further improving services’

15 April 2010: The UK Border Agency is charging too much for making available at doorstep the biometric enrollment service, say some applicants. And, they are not the only ones. Even an immigration solicitor, on the condition of anonymity, says the amount is on the higher side. 
The fee for the new service is £15,000 per application, which includes any fees relating to dependants. The key features of the service are customers can have their biometrics enrolled at a location of their choosing, including their home or business premises; customers can arrange a visit at a time and date of their choosing, subject to certain conditions.

The super premium service is available to people applying to extend their stay in the UK under one of the categories — Tier 2 and Tier 4 of the points-based system; and categories using application forms FLR (M), FLR (BID) and FLR (BUS).

Describing the fee for the service as “astronomical”, the solicitor says it’s hard to comprehend how the Home Office could ask for so much from the applicants even for a super premium service.

The solicitor further insists no explanation or information has yet been made available by the Home Office to explain how they can justify a fee of £15,000.00, when ultimately, all this service ensures is speedy processing of an application (within 24 hours), but no assurance of success in an application.

Describing it as an apparent “money spinning idea”, the solicitor says the Home Office instead of asking for more should consider ways and means of improving their current services in an attempt to process the applications expeditiously in view of the already high fees paid by the applicants.

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