The government has announced significant increases to immigration fees, which will affect individuals and families applying for visas or seeking to extend their stay in the UK.
These fee hikes are aimed at covering the rising costs of processing applications and administering immigration systems.
Massive increase in immigration health surcharge (IHS)
On 13 July 2023, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that visa application fees and the immigration health surcharge will rise significantly. The UK immigration health surcharge will increase from £624 to £1,035 per year.
The discounted immigration health surcharge for students, children and youth mobility visa holders will be increased from £470 to £776 per year. The minister announcing the measure explicitly stated that this increase “would fund the pay rise for doctors” that was announced earlier.
Increase in UK Home Office fees
As announced on 13 July 2023, UK Immigration and nationality fees will be increased as well in addition to IHS. Work and visit visas will rise by 15%. Student visas, certificates of sponsorship, settlement, citizenship, entry clearance and leave to remain applications by “at least 20%”.
This significant increase is to support British citizens and to put more burden on immigrants to stop them coming to the UK.
Current UK immigration fees
The current UK immigration fees was already out of budget for many migrants. You can click here to find out current UK immigration and nationality fees.
Current Immigration health surcharge
As on 14 July 2023, you’ll have to pay:
- £470 per year for a student or Youth Mobility Scheme visa, for example £940 for a 2-year visa
- £470 per year for visa and immigration applicants who are under the age of 18 at time of application
- £624 per year for all other visa and immigration applications, for example £3,120 for a 5-year visa
More fee waiver applications after Significant Increase To Immigration Fees
In our opinion, increasing immigration application fees and immigration health surcharge will attract more fee waiver applications under family route visas. Therefore, significant increase to immigration fees is likely to affect many applicants financially and mentally.
Critics argue that these significant increase to immigration fees will place an additional burden on already marginalized and vulnerable populations, making it harder for them to migrate or reunite with their families. They also claim that these increases may deter highly skilled immigrants or international students from choosing a particular country, impacting economic growth and diversity.
This significant increase to immigration fees are cheap for the government, both financially and politically. However, many migrants and their families will find it very expensive indeed.
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