The costs and process of moving to the UK

Summary of fees for the Tier 2 (General) visa application

Note that the information here is:

  • Specific to our unique circumstances
  • Reflective of the rules, policies, and requirements, as of the time of our original application for a Tier 2 (General) visa back in 2015; if we are aware of any changes since, it will be called out

If you are planning to apply for, or currently are in the process of applying for a Tier 2 (General) visa then you must refer to the official guidance released by the UK Government at the page for Tier (2) General visas. If you are considering other immigration routes (such as coming to visit as a tourist, or to study, etc) then you can find the official guidance of the UK Government at this visas and immigrations page for all the routes.

For an idea of the total costs for of a Tier 2 (General) application with one dependant, I’ve summarised the fees we’ve paid below. We’ve converted all amounts to GBP using the historical rate on the day we paid for it for the figures in the “2015 Price” column, or the current rate as of the time of writing (2 Aug 2020) for the figures in the “2020 Price” column.

There are other items which are not included here as it was not something we’ve kept track of – for instance, transportation / petrol costs for going to and fro the appointments, or photocopying and document printing costs. These are very minimal compared to what is already listed below.

Ref Item 2015 Price 2020 Price
1 Visa application fee (me) £1,128.00 £1,220.00
2 Visa application fee (spouse) 1,128.00 1,220.00
3 Passport-style photos (me) 2.00 2.50
4 Passport-style photos (spouse) 2.00 2.50
5 5-Year IHS (me) 1,000.00 2,000.00
6 5-Year IHS (spouse) 1,000.00 2,000.00
7 VFS PH Priority visa service (me) 120.00 155.00
8 VFS PH Priority visa service (spouse) 120.00 155.00
9 IDP PH UKVI IELTS booking fee (me) 226.00 216.00
10 NZ Marriage Certificate Paper Apostille 16.00 16.00
11 NZ Marriage Certificate e-Apostille 7.00 7.00
12 Tuberculosis test (me) 48.00 56.00
13 Tuberculosis test (spouse) 48.00 56.00
  Total £5,845.00 £9,106.00

What this table doesn’t show is the sheer amount of time we’ve poured into preparing for the application. As we knew that this will be a very significant event in our lives, we made sure that we have read and understood all the guidance relevant to our route. Moving to the UK requires a sizeable investment of both time and money.

It’s an expensive process; converted to the local currency, along with relocation costs it was nearly half a million Philippine Pesos which was a very significant amount for a couple on a Philippine salary back in 2015. Your sponsor may shoulder it partly or fully depending on your agreements with them. In my case, the company reimbursed me for the items specifically for me, leaving me and my spouse paying for the remaining half (roughly) out of our own pocket.

If there are any problems with this page, be it in terms of factual inaccuracies, mistakes in spelling or grammar, technical website issues — anything at all — I would truly appreciate it if you let me know here so that I can get it corrected.

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