The British government has announced to raise visa charges, which will be effected on October 4th. The revised fee structure will impose an extra GBP 15 for visit visas for stays lasting less than six months. Notably, this adjustment will also impact student visas, rendering them GBP 127 costlier for applicants from several countries, including India. These alterations come in the wake of recent legislation introduced in Parliament last Friday.
The UK Home Office clarified that these modifications will lead to an increase in the cost of a visit visa for stays of under six months, bringing it to GBP 115. Moreover, the fee for applying for a student visa from outside the UK will surge to GBP 490, aligning with the charges for in-country applications.
This move follows the declaration made by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in July, wherein he conveyed that fees and health surcharges paid by visa applicants to support the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) would experience a significant rise to accommodate public sector wage hikes.
Sunak explained, “We are going to increase the charges that we have for migrants who are coming to this country when they apply for visas and indeed something called the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is the levy that they pay to access the NHS.”
The Home Office has indicated a 15 percent increase in the cost of most work and visit visas, while priority visas, study visas, and certificates of sponsorship will see an increment of at least 20 percent.
This hike in fees encompasses various visa categories, including health and care visas, applications for British citizenship, and fees for visit visas spanning six months, two years, five years, and ten years.
The Home Office defended these changes by stating, “Income from fees charged plays a vital role in the Home Office’s ability to run a sustainable immigration and nationality system. Careful consideration is given when setting fees to help reduce the funding contribution from British taxpayers, whilst continuing to provide a service that remains attractive to those wishing to work in the UK and support broader prosperity for all.”
The augmentation extends to most entry clearance fees and specific applications for leave to remain in the UK, covering those for work and study. It also affects fees for indefinite leave to enter and indefinite leave to remain, as well as fees related to certificates of sponsorship and confirmation of acceptance for studies. These modifications are pending parliamentary approval and are slated to be enforced from October 4th, as announced by the Home Office.