Military Life

Two ex-Army MPs push for visas to be waived for foreign-born veterans

Labour's Dan Jarvis and Conservative Johnny Mercer both served in the British Army.

Two MPs, who served in the British Army, are lobbying the Government to waive visa fees – costing more than £2,000 – for the UK's foreign-born service personnel and dependents.

Labour's Dan Jarvis and Conservative Johnny Mercer have tabled an amendment to the Immigration and Borders bill to remove fees for personnel and their families who settle in the UK after five years' service.

Former servicemen and women's dependents are also required to pay fees, greatly increasing the cost for service families.

Mr Jarvis, a former Paratrooper, tweeted: "We must stand up for those who have served our country. Please ask your MP to sign the amendment that @JohnnyMercerUK and I have tabled."

Johnny Mercer, an Army veteran of 10 years' service, described the #StoptheServiceCharge campaign as "a chance to turn words into actions".

In a tweet, he said: "@DanJarvisMP who has done so much over so many years for this cause, and I, will try and end visa fees for our foreign and commonwealth personnel in the House of Commons next week. A chance to turn words into actions. Ask your MP to support."

The Government launched a consultation earlier in 2021 and says it will address the issue.

 

An MOD spokesperson said: "We are hugely grateful for the contribution of all our Armed Forces.

"We work closely with our non-UK recruits to make sure they are fully aware of how they and their families can settle in the UK, and the costs involved. 

"This includes working with the Joining Forces Credit Union to offer financial advice, savings packages and loans to help personnel pay for visa costs.

"We will publish the response to the consultation in due course."