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New Home Office customer enquiry scheme – £5.48 charge

New Home Office customer enquiry scheme – £5.48 charge

  • 31/05/2017
  • Answered by Red Square London’s Immigration Specialist, Oliver Westmoreland – Ответил наш Специалист по Иммиграционным Вопросам, Оливер Вестморлэнд
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New Home Office customer enquiry scheme – £5.48 charge

31 May 2017

Suddenly, with practically no warning, the Home Office has announced the following:money

“From 1 June, all customer enquiries will be handled by a new commercial partner Sitel UK. The new contract will see a number of changes for customers.

These changes help the government reduce costs and ensure those who benefit directly from the UK immigration system make an appropriate contribution.

The main changes for customers applying from outside the UK are:

  • all phone numbers and opening hours will change
  • the number of languages offered is reducing to 8 including English
  • customers who contact UK Visas and Immigration by email will be charged £5.48

You will need to pay using a credit or debit card for contacting us by email. The charge includes the first email enquiry you send and any follow-up emails to and from the contact centre relating to the same enquiry.

The way you pay to use the telephone service will remain the same using a credit or debit card.

If you do not have access to a credit or debit card, you may choose to use a trusted 3rd party such as an agent or sponsor.

There are no changes to services if you are contacting us from inside the UK.”

Readers will note that this new scheme only applies to those who are contacting the Home Office from outside the UK, not from inside the UK.

The Immigration Rules have indeed become somewhat fiendishly complicated and it is not surprising that unrepresented migrants need help with them. But the new £5.48 charge for email enquiries is interesting. Suppose the Home Office gives wrong advice (as does sometimes happen). Will they willingly refund it? We shall have to wait and see.

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