Telephone: 01483 243 566
Address: Building 2 - Ground Floor Guildford Business Park Guildford Surrey GU2 8XG
As a small specialist immigration practice there are many things we can do well. However, due to our size we restrict the number of clients that we accept. Although this may mean that we have to disappoint some potential clients, it does mean that we can focus and give a personal service to the clients that we do accept.
Our principal, Agnes Lai, is a solicitor with over 20 years experience in the area of UK immigration law and human rights. She is accredited by the Law Society Specialist Immigration Panel and is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This gives clients the greatest confidence that their matter will be dealt with in a competent and professional way.
We have found over the years that our clients prefer to have a degree of certainty in respect of the total cost of their matter. No one likes nasty surprises. This is why we try to agree a fixed fee for the work that we undertake after we have had an opportunity to consider the complexity of each matter.
We seek to ensure that Agnes will be the only person dealing with clients’ matters throughout. This means that it will not be delegated to any junior solicitor, paralegal or non-qualified person to do the work. This provides continuity for the client and the experienced oversight of the matter as it progresses.
Traditionally, the cost of each matter is usually based upon the solicitor’s hourly rate and how long the matter takes to complete. The more experienced the solicitor is, the higher hourly rate they charge. This is balanced by the fact that they will generally deal with matters quicker than an inexperienced solicitor. Our clients are sometimes concerned that if a matter takes long than expected, the legal costs can increase beyond their initial budget. This is why we try to agree a fixed fee for each matter.
As an indication of the range of fees that you may expect to pay for our services, we have set out some details below for visa applications, EEA applications, applications for British Citizenship and leave to remain applications. These are not intended to be quotes, as this will be decided on a case-by-case basis. They do not include additional costs that may be payable such as application fees and other disbursements. Accordingly, we would recommend that you contact us to discuss your individual case to enable us to consider any complexities and provide you with information on the costs that are likely to be incurred on your specific matter.
All our agreed fees are exclusive of VAT, disbursements, the Home Office application fees and the immigration health surcharge. You may be responsible for payment of the Home office application fees and/or the immigration health surcharge directly to the Home Office. We do not charge VAT on our fees. However, VAT may be chargeable on disbursements such as translation fees, courier fees or fees for any independent expert reports (which are rarely required). VAT is usually charged at the prevailing rate set by HM Revenue and Customs, currently 20%, unless an exemption applies. However, we shall inform you if VAT applies to any disbursements, and if so, the amount or rate that they attract.
On top of our fee for preparing an application, we usually charge a standard administrative fee of £40.00 to cover the cost of photocopying a file copy of the application and the supporting documents, which is important in protecting you in event of any allegations by the Home Office that certain documents have not been submitted. We charge an additional £30.00 for each copy application bundle which is required by you or the Home Office.
We require all disbursements to be paid on account before they are paid out on your behalf.
Any agreed fee will only cover the preparation of a one off application and not any other work or reapplications. It does not cover any work after the application is submitted online or by post. Further, it does not cover any work in relation to i) administrative review ii) judicial review proceedings and the pre-action protocol process iii) Appeals to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (both first tier or upper tier tribunal) iv) any work in relation to appealing to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court or v) liaison with any third parties such as an MP.
Any incoming and outgoing telephone calls not covered by an agreed fixed fee will be charged at our standard chargeable rate of £25.00 per call. Our firm requires half the agreed cost to be paid on account before any work is undertaken. The outstanding balance, together with any additional cost for any additional work outside the retainer (if any), outstanding VAT and disbursements, must be paid at least 7 working days before an application is due to be submitted online or by post, or by a date we specify.
Our firm reserves the right to charge for any unexpected urgent or unforeseeable work at a rate of £250 per hour.
A major part of our role in any immigration application can be summarised as risk management. We apply our expertise, knowledge, experience and training in the law, to manage and prepare the application. We ensure compliance with the immigration rules, regulations, law and policy. We identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed in an application, limiting as far as possible the risk of refusal of an application. It is far easier (and cheaper) to deal with any issues within the application rather than appealing the refusal decision. Our success rate is very high.
The application will always be undertaken by Agnes Lai, the Principal of the firm. Her chargeable hourly rate is £250 per hour. There is no VAT payable on the fees charged by the firm, although there may be VAT charged on disbursements, for example translation costs or barristers’ fees. However, you will be advised of any anticipated disbursements at an initial stage.
As explained, we do not usually charge by the hour, but will always seek to agree a fee for the retainer in preparing a visa application.
The amount of time that is needed for a visa application will depend on the type of visa application. There are different types of visa applications. They include applying for a visa to join a family in the UK, settlement visa and visa applications under the points-based system, such as a student or a worker, as well as visa applications for visitors. Visa applications are time consuming as they involve taking detailed instructions from applicants who are based abroad, and often from the sponsors who are based in the UK. Detailed instructions are required to avoid inaccuracies and any allegations of non-disclosure, which could not only attract the general grounds of refusal but damage a person’s immigration history. It is difficult to give an exact estimate of the time that it will take to complete an application. On average, visa applications could take between 10 to 30 hours or more to complete. The best interest of our clients is at the forefront of our minds and we will spend the time that is required to properly prepare and complete an application, even if it means exceeding the anticipated time that is covered by the agreed fee for our retainer. The exact number of hours will depend on the type of visa application, the exact circumstances and complexity of an application. These may include:
Given the amount of work that will be undertaken on behalf of the client, we do not charge by the hour as this will often be prohibitively expensive. This is why we will always try to agree a fee for the work we will do for you. The fee for our visa applications can range from £1,100 to £2,000, exclusive of VAT and disbursements, the application fee and the immigration health surcharge. The exact amount of our fee will depend on the type of application, our assessment of the complexity of an application and any associated applications, such as dependants.
If you are able to provide sufficient evidence and clearly meet the applicable Immigration Rules, the cost is likely to be at the lower end of this range.
The work will involve:
Leave to Remain Applications typically involve applications made in the UK for permission to remain or for an extension of stay or indefinite leave to remain under the Immigration Rules. Examples of the type of applications are student applications, spouse and partner applications, work or business applications under the Points Based System, dependant relatives, applications on the basis of UK ancestry and applications under the 10 year long residence rule.
The amount of our fee will depend on factors such as
The amount of time that is required for a leave to remain application will depend on the circumstances of a case. An application can take between 10 -20 hours or more to prepare. In general, our fee is between £1,000 to £2,000 exclusive of VAT and disbursements, the application fee and the immigration health surcharge. The exact amount of our fee will depend on the circumstances of a case and our assessment of its complexity.
If the Home Office ask you to attend an interview, we will give you clear advice and discuss the possibility of us attending with you at the appropriate time. We will always agree a fee with you in advance of doing so. Further, we will always agree a fee with you first before undertaking any additional work which is not covered by our retainer.
Some EEA applications are relatively simple and do not require legal assistance. We will let you know if an application is straightforward and does not require a solicitor to undertake the preparation of the application. If you still wish to have some advice on preparing the application yourself, including checking the supporting documents, we are happy to agree a fee for this. The work will generally take around 1-3 hours to complete. In general, our fee for this is between £250 to £450. However, this will depend on the circumstances of an application and its complexity.
If you want us to act for you in the preparation of a simple application, the work may take between 5-7 hours. The exact amount of time will depend on the circumstances of an individual case. In general, we charge between £750 to £900 exclusive of VAT and disbursements for a simple application without dependants. This will depend on whether the clients are able to produce all the information and documents at our first meeting together with the extent and amount of documentation.
As a guide, the following are considered to be complex applications where the applicants are more likely to need legal assistance and representation in preparing their applications:
The amount of time that is needed for a more complex EEA application will depend on the circumstances of the case. On average, they can take between 13 to 30 hours or more to prepare. This will depend on:
We do not usually charge by the hour and will always seek to agree a fee for an application. Our fee for more complex EU applications can range from £1,100 to £2,000, exclusive of VAT and the application fee and the immigration health surcharge. The exact amount of our fee will depend on our assessment of the complexity of an application.
The work involved in preparing EEA applications will be similar to the work undertaken for visa application. The work required on an individual matter will be provided in detail upon acceptance of the retainer.
There are two ways in which a person can apply for British Citizenship:
Applications for Naturalisation under Section 6 (1) [on the basis of 5 years lawful residence] or Section 6 (3) [on the basis of marriage] or Registration of a child under Section 1 (3) [on the basis that the mother or father acquires settlement or becomes British Citizen after their birth] and Section 4 D [registration as British Citizens by entitlement of children born outside the UK to members of the armed forces] can be relatively simple if the person is able to fulfil the statutory requirements. Legal representation and assistance in preparing the application is not always required. If you require assistance in preparing a simple application, we typically charge between £750 to £900 exclusive of VAT and disbursements and the application fee. The exact amount of the retainer will be dependent on our assessment of an individual case, the needs of a client and the number of meetings which are required, the extent of absences, whether the client is able to provide all the required documents and information and the extent of any missing information or documents. A simple application will take around 6- 9 hours to prepare.
A complex British Citizenship application can take between 10 to 20 hours or more to prepare. We do not usually charge by the hour but will always seek to agree a fee with a client for an application. In general, our fee for a more complex naturalisation application can range between £1,100 to £2,000 exclusive of VAT and disbursements and the application fee. Complex applications may include:
The above information on procedure and pricing is correct at the time of posting. Please contact us for further details whereupon we will be able to advise you on your matter taking into consideration your specific circumstances. As previously stated, the costs and pricing information above is only meant to be a guide to the likely costs and does not constitute a quote for any retainer. We aim to agree a fixed fee for work undertaken, where possible, and so it is always worth contacting us for a specific indication of the costs involved in your matter.
Just Immigration Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (No 487202)
We sincerely hope that it will never happen, but if a client is unhappy with any aspect of how the firm is handling their matter, they should contact the Principal, Agnes Lai, in the first instance. Our email address is email@example.com. In the unlikely event that we are unable to resolve the problem between us, they have a right to complain directly to either the Legal Ombudsman (on issues relating to the work carried out or our charges) or the Solicitors Regulation Authority (on issues of conduct or breach of our professional rules). The Legal Ombudsman will look at their complaint independently. However, they must take their complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving our final response to their complaint and no more than one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about or no more than one year from the date when they should reasonably have known that there was cause for complaint.
For more information about the Legal Ombudsman contact:
Call: 0300 555 0333 between 09:00 to 17:00
Post: Legal Ombudsman, PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ