The United Kingdom’s Home Office has announced significant changes in visa fees that will come into effect from October 4, 2023. These changes, subject to parliamentary approval, will impact various categories of visas, including visitor and student visas. The adjustments aim to generate additional revenue and align the fees with the UK’s public sector wage increase and healthcare costs.
Visa Fee Increases
- Visitor Visas: The cost of a visit visa for stays under six months will increase by GBP 15, raising the fee to GBP 115.
- Student Visas: Applying for a student visa from outside the UK will become GBP 127 more expensive, bringing the fee to GBP 490, aligning it with the amount charged for in-country applications.
- Work and Visit Visas: A 15% increase is expected in the cost of most work and visit visas.
- Priority Visas, Study Visas, and Certificates of Sponsorship: These categories will experience a minimum fee increase of 20%.
These fee adjustments were proposed in response to the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement in July to significantly raise fees and health surcharges paid by visa applicants. These surcharges are aimed at funding the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) and covering public sector wage increases.
Rationale for Fee Hike
The Home Office has justified the fee hikes by emphasizing the role fees play in sustaining the immigration and nationality system. These adjustments aim to reduce the financial burden on British taxpayers while maintaining an attractive service for those wishing to work or study in the UK.
Visa Categories Affected
The fee increases apply to various visa categories, including health and care visas, applications for British citizenship, visit visas for different durations, entry clearance, leave to remain, and certificates of sponsorship.
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Source: Hindustan Times