The Minister of State for Borders and Immigration, Phil Woolas, has put forward regulations in Parliament for the fees for immigration and nationality services. The fees for many services are higher than the normal administrative cost for the services.
In most cases the fees have not changed that much. The increase has been kept at less than ten percent. In some cases GBP50 per person is allocated to the Migration Impacts Fund to help communities affected by immigration.
It is interesting to note that for some dependent relative applications the fee has doubled or tripled in price. The Government feels that higher fees are justified to pay for the higher social and health care costs to look after elderly relatives. An application for entry on a settlement visa for a dependent relative will go up from GBP585 to GBP1680. An application for a dependent relative visa made from inside the UK will go up from GBP820 to GBP1680.
The immigration minister, Phil Woolas had the following comments to make about the increase in immigration and nationality fees, likely to be introduced in April 2010: "… it was only fair that those who benefited from using the immigration system should help fund it…" However, a number of people feel that the fees for dependent relatives are quite excessive.
There will also be a £15,000 "premium service" available for the very rich; For this price the UK Border Agency will visit skilled migrants at their offices or homes to deal with the processing of their application and to take biometric photographs and fingerprints. In this situation a decision will be made immediately. The UKBA estimates that the cost for providing the "mobile biometric enrolment and case-working" service is £1 982. On a trial basis fifty appointments will be made available in the first 12 months from this April. One group of people who may wish to take advantage of this scheme are wealthy professional footballers in the UK.
In February 2010 the Government will publish proposals on fees that will be set at below cost. The Government considers the following when setting fees:
- The the cost of processing applications.
- The importance of attracting certain groups of migrants to the UK.
- The value of a successful application to the migrant.