UK to increase immigration fees beginning 6 April
The UK Home Office announced another immigration fees hike ‘proposed’ to take effect next month.
The immigration Minister Damian Green has issued a Written Ministerial Statement that proposes to increase immigration and nationality application fees for all those applying to study, visit, work or stay in the UK, the Home Office announced this week.
The new ‘proposed’ fees will be laid before Parliament in two separate regulations, but will not come into force untill they have been debated and approved in by Members of Parliament (MP’s). However, the statement said the new fees are ‘due to take effect from 6 April 2011'.
Under the current government spending review, the Home Office must implement a real terms reduction in budgets of up to 20 percent.
The UK Border Agency (part of the Home Office) is already ‘seeking to offset this income gap with efficiency savings of approximately £500 million by reducing support costs, increasing efficiencies, boosting productivity and improving value for money from commercial suppliers’.
The Home Office announcement states that these measures will ‘not go far enough’, and to address the funding shortfall the UK Border Agency will need to increase fees for financial year 2011/12.
The UK Border Agency believes the proposals to increase fees continue to ’strike the right balance between maintaining secure and effective border controls and ensuring that the fee structure does not inhibit the UK’s ability to attract those migrants and visitors that make a valued contribution’. This will ‘help to support the immigration system, maintain public confidence and ensure that migration is managed for the benefit of the UK’, the agency said.
The Guardian said:
‘The Home Office has long been able to levy a surcharge above the normal administrative costs of processing applications, but many migrants and visitors now face fees that are four to five times the actual cost of dealing with applications.’
The new fees regime includes looks set to double the charge for a short-term student visa to £140.
For instance, a whacking charge of £2,214, up from £2,050, will be levied on applications made at a public enquiry office for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), on behalf of a dependent relative –for instance an elderly parent.
The cost of applying for a 10-year visitor’s visa from outside the UK is to rise £52 to £702, a postal application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK will be £972 and a single application for British citizenship will be £836. The fee for a joint application for British citizenship will rise from £1,010 to £1,294.
A tier one, highly skilled, visa – under the points based system – will cost £1,000; a sponsored skilled migrant, classed under tier two, will be charged £550 to apply by post or £850 to apply in person at a public enquiry office. These charges contrast with the £95 charged for a work permit back in March 2003.
Tier 2 Working visa reforms announced by UK Border Agency
71 shortage occupations to be removed from Tier 2 visas in points-based shake up
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk
Charles Kelly / Immigration Matters / Expatica
Photo Credit: millr / Flickr