UK Immigration has announced that there will be further immigration fees increases. Some of the fee increases will occur in 1 October 2010 which covers UK visa fees that are "below cost". The majority of the increases if approved by Parliament will occur in November 2010. These further fee increases are somewhat controversial coming on top of some large increases in fees on 6 April 2010. If you are a national of a non-EU Country and you wish to visit, study, work or gain entry to the UK for some other reason it is likely that you will have to pay higher UK visa fees.
This is another attempt by the UK Government to raise funds. You cannot justify these fee increases to simply cover the costs of dealing with immigration applications. The fees are set considerably higher than the fees required to pay for the cost of processing immigration applications. The Government has in fact said in the past that increased fees also help pay for other costs that they say are a result of immigration to the UK. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that especially during the boom years increased immigration was of enormous benefit to the UK and that helped to fuel the economic boom in the UK.
The UK Border Agency had the following to say:
"….The UK Border Agency believes that the proposals to increase fees continue to strike the right balance between maintaining secure and effective border controls and ensuring that our fees structure does not inhibit the UK's ability to attract migrants and visitors who make a valued contribution.…"
UK Tier visa fee increases are as follows:
- Tier 1 visa at Consular Post from outside the UK £690 to £750
- Tier 1 visa from within the UK £840 to £850
- Tier 2 visa fee from £270 to £350
- Tier 2 in-country from £475 to £500
- Tier 4 visa from £199 to £220
- Tier 4 visa from within the UK kept at £357
- Tier 5 visa from £128 to £130
You will see that the greatest increases in UK immigration fees have been for applicants applying for Tier 1 visas and Tier 2 visas from outside the UK. This will affect skilled immigration into the UK.
Visit Visa fee increases are as follows:
- Short term visit visas generally for up to six months from £68 to £70
- Visit visa - long 2 year from £230 to £245
- Visit visa - long 5 year from £420 to £450
- Visit visa - long 10 year from £610 to £650
- Settlement visas (permanent residence) increases from £644 to £750
Increase in dependent visa fees to 20-30% of the principal applicant fee
If you wish to apply for a visa and wish to avoid paying increased UK Government visa fees you should consider applying sooner rather than later. If you need to pay increased visa fees both for yourself and family members the additional costs may be quite considerable.