We’re waiving archaic fees that allow the Home Office to make a profit off of our veterans.
There are currently over 4,500 Commonwealth soldiers serving in the British Armed Forces. 1.7m men and women of the Commonwealth forces gave their lives for us during the two World Wars.
We owe them all a great debt – yet we are not doing nearly enough to support them.
If a foreign soldier wants to bring their family to the UK, they have to meet minimum income requirements. To bring their partner alone, a soldier must earn £18,600 – if they have three children this threshold gets as high as £27,200.
This prices out many veterans from coming to the UK.
And then there is a second cost.
The cost of applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain has increased three-fold over recent years. While the cost used to be £750, it is now £2,389. This means that a family of four would have to pay over £9,550.
This is especially outrageous as the cost per application to the Home Office is just £243. The Home Office is making a profit off the back of veterans who have risked their lives to protect us.
For many veterans, this has meant that they have had to return to their country of origin. For others, it has meant they have stayed in the UK without immigration status, unable to work and living in destitution. In either instance, these servicemen and women have not been allowed to settle in the UK.
This is an appalling way to thank veterans who have spent years serving our armed forces. Unfortunately, it is yet another example of the Tories’ spiteful hostile environment policy.
The Liberal Democrats demand better for those who have served us so bravely.
A Lib Dem government will waive veterans’ application fee for Indefinite Leave to Remain. We will support our Commonwealth and foreign veterans when others refuse.
The Lib Dems’ vision for our country is open and inclusive to all. By encouraging these brave servicemen and women to settle here, we will build a better future.