Beginning June 2004, fees for UK employers applying for work permits for foreign employees will be increased. This increase should save UK taxpayers more than £30 million per year, according to the Home Office.
British companies will be consulted on the fee increase which will range from £155 and £180, for all UK work permits and applications for schemes targeted at the hospitality and food processing sectors (the SBS program). The fee has been proposed so that employers using the services of Work Permits (UK) can continue to cover the costs of providing this service and so that the government organisation can continue provide high standards of service.
Responses are also expected to be published on a proposed fee increase for work permit extensions, the Sector Based Scheme (SBS), the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) and the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS). The increase is expected to be between £95 and £125.
The Home Office Minister, Beverley Hughes, has emphasized the benefits of this fee increase to tax payers, while still expounding the benefits of immigration. The fee increase on UK work permits was compared to other countries such as Australia, Canada, and the US, whose immigration departments charge higher fees varying from £500 to £1,000. Nevertheless, these fees quoted are generally charged for immigration fees rather than seasonal or even long-term work permits.
Interestingly enough, football clubs requesting an appeal on a work permit decision may be charged £1,000 for this service instead of the current £95 charge.
These fees are expected to come into effect later this year.