UK immigration proposes increase in visa fees – Apply Now!

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The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced proposed fee increases for UK visa and nationality applications. Immigration Minister Damien Green said the new fees will come into effect from 6 April 2012; Parliamentary approval should only be a formality.

"It is only fair that those who use and benefit from the immigration system contribute a higher share of the cost of running it - reducing the burden on the UK taxpayer," said Green.

In most cases fees will increase by only 2 percent, but there will be larger increases on visa fees for certain immigration routes. It will also be more expensive for organisations in the UK that wish to employ immigrants to become sponsors. Under the proposed changes, the fees will increase from £310 to £500 for a sponsorship licence for a small employer sponsor, while the cost of a large employer sponsor licence will increase from £1,025 to £1,500. It is a requirement that immigrants coming to work in the UK under Tier 2 or Tier 5 visas are sponsored by an employer before they can apply for a UK visa.

A new optional premium customer service will also take effect in April, and will cost £25,000 per year for large employer sponsors and £8,000 per year for small sponsors. Fees paid by dependants for applications made within the UK will remain at their current level of 50 percent of a main applicant's fee.

Other notable fee increases include:
  • Tier 1 General Extensions will increase from £1,000 to £1,500
  • Tier 2 visas will increase from £400 to £480
  • Tier 2 Intra Company Transfers for less than 12 months will increase from £350 to £400
  • Tier 4 visas will increase from £255 to £289 for students and their dependents

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