When an asylum seeker gets permission to stay – usually for 2.5 years – they have to apply for an extension when they come towards the end of their legal stay. However, this is very costly and near impossible for most of them to pay.
There is a fee payable for each person, regardless of age. The total fee payable is £1533. This is made up of £1033 for the visa and £500 Immigration Health Surcharge which is a contribution to the NHS.
The individual/family can apply for a fee waiver, but they have to show that they are destitute or would become destitute as a result of paying the fees. The Home Office are extremely mean in granting fee waivers. But, if they can’t afford the fee, then they can try.
If they want to have their completed applications checked over before they send them, the Rochdale Law Centre’s trading company, the Rochdale Legal Enterprise can check it for them. A 1 hour consultation appointment costs £50.
The Rochdale Legal Enterprise also complete applications and lodge them with the Home Office and liaise with the Home Office to the point of first decision. This service is £400 for the main applicant, plus an additional £100 for each dependant. £700 for family of four.
How many times they have to apply for an extension of their stay depends on what status they were originally granted:
if someone has completed 10 years lawful residence in the UK, then they will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after 10 years;
people recognised as refugees are granted leave to remain in the UK for a period of 5 years after which they are entitled to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK;
Previously, individuals granted Discretionary Leave, prior to 9th July 2012 were granted this leave for 3 years. After renewing this once and completing 6 years residence in the UK, the individual will qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK;
Individuals granted Discretionary Leave after 9th July 2012 will be granted leave to remain for a period of 2.5 years and this must be renewed 3 times so that person can complete 10 years residence in the UK, after which they will qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK.
Thanks to Rochdale Law Centre for providing these facts.