This article from Times Higher Education tells about the struggles of Non-EU scholars with the UK’s visa policy. The article was published in January 2014. Since then, the visa fees to remain in the UK have increased in general.
My family and I have lived in the UK for 2 years now. We are non-EU nationals. Currently, I am working as a postdoc. With our visas expiring in one year, I have been contemplating about what to do next.
I quite like my project, and there is a possibility for the university to extend my contract as a postdoc, by submitting a grant application for a separate project as a continuation of my current one.
However, to renew my family and my visas would require £651 per head. This would give us the eligibility to stay in the UK for another 3 years maximum, after which we would need to pay £1,500 per head for an indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Assuming the fees do not change, this means that 4 years from now, I will need to have at least £12,000 in my account, £10,000 of which will go into paying the fees, in order for me and my family to be able to stay permanently in the UK. With a postdoc salary, this just seems daunting at the moment.
My main question is: Is it possible for a project grant, including research fellowships, to pay for my family and my visa fees? I suspect that the project grant could probably pay for my fees, but not my family.
One possibility is for me to try to go up in the academic salary ladder by getting a lecturer position. But even if I am able to get a lecturer position, I am not quite sure if the increase would be enough to pay the fees. It looks like a more realistic option would be to leave the country, although moving to another country as a family is not so simple and also needs money. From this aspect, it might be better to stay.