The UK government has announced a substantial increase of over 600% in fees for student and visiting visas, effective October 4. This means that the cost for a visit visa for less than six months will rise from £15 to £115, and for students, the fee for applying from outside the UK will increase from £127 to £490. The government stated that this adjustment will help fund essential services and allocate more resources for public sector pay raises.
The new visa fees were disclosed in a statement on the UK government’s website, gov.uk, and the legislation was laid in parliament on Friday. The statement also mentioned previous increases in the cost of various visas in July. The income generated from these fees is crucial for sustaining the Home Office’s immigration and nationality system, with careful consideration given to minimize the burden on British taxpayers while maintaining an appealing service for those seeking to work in the UK.
The changes encompass fees for different visa durations, including up to six months, two, five, and ten-year visit visas. Additionally, fees for entry clearance and specific applications for leave to remain, such as those for work and study, have been raised. This also applies to fees for indefinite leave to enter and remain, travel documents, health and care visas, certificates of sponsorship, and various priority services.
It was noted that the settlement priority service fee will be adjusted to align with the cost of using the priority service. Furthermore, fees for applications related to British citizenship, as well as the User Pays Visa Application service, have been increased. However, the statement clarified that the planned increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge, scheduled for later in the Autumn, is not included in these changes, pending parliamentary approval.