Home Office: Email and Telephone Services

Home Office written question – answered on 6th July 2018.

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Photo of Ian Lavery Ian Lavery Co-National Campaign Coordinator, Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Party Chair, Labour Party

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the reasons are for the (a) £1.37 per minute charge for the public helpline and (b) £5.38 charge for email correspondence.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

UK Visas and Immigration in–country contact centres provide information about the Immigration Rules and the Points Based System requirements via a number of published customer enquiry line numbers. In 2014, in line with Cabinet Office guidance, UKVI changed all 0845 and 0870 prefix helpline numbers to lower call tariff rate 0300 prefix numbers. UKVI do not generate any income from these non-geographic numbers enquiry lines.

For overseas customers, UK Visas and Immigration have a chargeable call rates of £1.37 per minute and a £5.48 email charge which includes the initial e-mail enquiry plus any follow-up e-mails to and from the contact centre relating to the same enquiry.

The international charge (£5.48 per email enquiry) was introduced on 1st June 2017 as part of the UKVI Contact Centre operations contract awarded to SITEL UK Ltd

These charges are levied to fund the commercial contract as the UK government believes it is right that those who use and benefit directly from the UK immigration system make an appropriate contribution towards meeting the costs of the immigration system. Those who use the services from outside the UK are predominantly prospective customers and in many cases no application will be made and no application fee collected.

Our web site www.gov.uk is the main source of information and advice and is free of charge.

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