The UK Home Office start charging foreigners to send an email to its service

From 1 June the Home Office started a number of changes for customers applying from outside the UK. The center starts charging non-UK residents £5.48 to send a single email enquiry to its visa service.

The Home Office outsourced its visa enquiries service to Sitel UK, a subsidiary of French-owned Acticall Sitel Group.

A statement on the Home Office website says that “customers who contact UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) by email will need to pay using a credit or debit card and will be charged £5.48.”. The charged include the first email enquiry the customer sends and any follow-up emails to and from the contact centre relating the same enquiry.

The phone numbers and opening hours also changed and they reduced the number of languages offered to 8, including English.

Contacting UKVI from outside the UK by email was free, while there is a charge for contacting the service via telephone. There are no plans to introduce charges for people contacting UKVI from within the UK.

“These changes help the government reduce costs and ensure those who benefit directly from the UK immigration system make an appropriate contribution”, says the official statement on the Home Office website

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