The UK government has announced a significant increase in UK immigration fees and the immigration health surcharge. These increases will place a heavy financial burden on UK visa applicants when it takes effect.
The increase in the immigration health surcharge is intended to fund pay raises for public-sector doctors in the UK. Whilst the increase in the visa application fees is to reduce the burden of the operating system on the UK taxpayer, as well as to raise public funds to pay for public-sector pay raises.
Unfortunately, no specific dates were provided for when the increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge or visa application fees will take effect, so this could occur at any time. Based on the timing of previous fee increases, Breytenbachs expect that it will take effect in October 2023, but it is possible it could be implemented sooner and with very little prior notice.
Increase in Immigration Health Surcharge
The immigration health surcharge (IHS) will rise from £624 to £1,035 per person per year. The IHS is paid by visa applicants staying for six months or more, as well as the family members of migrants and British citizens. The discounted rate for student visa applicants, children, and youth mobility visa holders will increase from £470 to £776 per person per year.
Increases in UK Immigration and Nationality Fees
Various immigration and nationality fees will see an increase. Work and visit visas will rise by 15%. Student visas, certificates of sponsorship, settlement, citizenship, entry clearance, and leave to remain applications will increase by 20%.
The UK Government also announced a simplification and equalisation of some service application fees, which is good news. The Home Office plan to abolish the biometric enrolment fee and the transfer of conditions charge. They will also equalise the service application fees for those applying from within and outside the UK.
Recommended Actions by Breytenbachs on Increase in UK Immigration Fees
Considering these drastic fee increases, Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants offers two recommendations.
Firstly, applicants who can and wish to apply for a UK visa should do so promptly.
Secondly, considering the increasing costs, applicants should be aware of the potential financial loss if their applications are unsuccessful. It would thus be wise to instruct Breytenbachs to ensure a successful visa outcome.
Contact Breytenbachs to Prepare and Submit Your UK Visa Application
It is crucial that clients contact Breytenbachs without delay to prepare and submit their UK Visa applications before the impending increases. With an expected influx of visa applications at the UK Home Office, applying as soon as possible is vital. Contact us today for a timely and well-prepared application, ensuring success.