We are about 3 weeks away from applying for our UK Ancestry Visa. So we’re closely monitoring the Australian Dollar (AUD) against the British Pound Sterling (GBP).
It’s our intention to apply for our visa on Thursday 23 June (Australian time) – the eve of the Brexit Referendum in the UK.
United Kingdom European Union Membership Referendum – Thursday 23 June 2016
Opinion polls show it could go either way.
Follow Brexit news:
The Brexit Debate Explained in 2 Minutes
We’re hoping for some market jitters to force a correction in the AUD/GBP exchange rate so we can save hundreds of dollars on our visa applications.
- Since mid April 2016, when Aussies could buy £1 for $1.84 AUD, we’ve seen the GBP go through the roof; beyond $2.03 AUD in late May 2016. That’s a 19 cent increase! Meaning that it costs an extra $190 AUD to buy £1,000.
Since 6 April 2016, all UK Ancestry Visa applications by Australians have to pay an Immigration Health Charge (IHS) of £1,000 per person to cover access to the National Health System (NHS). That’s £200 per year of the visa, which is a 5 year visa. Payable in advance of course.
- Access to the NHS was free (included for no extra charge) for all visa applicants prior to 16 April 2016 under a reciprocal agreement with Australia.
- The new surcharge resulted from a UK domestic backlash against increasing migrant numbers. The surcharge supposedly going towards funding the NHS and probably aimed at making the UK a less attractive option for migrants with a choice. For example, is Canada a better option for some?
That’s a total of $2,030 per person (based on $2.03 AUD for every £1) just to cover the IHS. With some predicting that the AUD/GBP rate could go as high as $2.20/£1.00, the cost of the IHS as part of the UK Ancestry Visa application is HUGE. With exchange rates like that, the £1,000 IHS alone will costs a family of four $8,800. Ouch!
Aussie Dollar (AUD) Vs British Pound Sterling (GBP)
xe.com – mid-market rates (derived from the mid-point between the “buy” and “sell” rates from global currency markets).
HiFX – live interbank exchange rates and currency exchange services at competitive rates.