Starting from October 4, significant changes are coming to the cost of UK visas, affecting students, skilled workers, and immigrants. These fee increases are set to have a wide-reaching impact on individuals seeking visas for various purposes in the United Kingdom.
Visa Fee Hikes Across Different Categories
Family, Settlement, and Citizenship Visas Increase by 20%: For those applying for family, settlement, or citizenship visas, the cost is set to rise by 20%. As an example, settlement visa fees are increasing from approximately £2,400 to £2,900.
Work and Visit Visas to Rise by 15%: Individuals applying for work and visit visas will also face a 15% increase in fees. This includes both skilled workers and tourists.
Student Visa Fees Soar by 35%: Students, including child students and dependents, will experience a substantial 35% increase in visa fees, raising costs from £363 to £490. However, short-term course students studying English for more than 6 months but no more than 11 months will not see a fee hike.
Immigration Health Surcharge Surges by 66%
The immigration health surcharge, a mandatory fee for visa applicants, will skyrocket by 66% to £1,035 per year. The precise implementation date for this increase is yet to be confirmed.
Skilled Worker Visa Fees Adjustments
For skilled workers, the visa fees depend on the duration of the certificate of sponsorship:
- A certificate issued for three years or less will see the main applicant and dependents paying £719 (up from £625).
- Certificates with a duration of more than three years will incur an immigration fee of £1,084 (up from £943).
- Skilled workers in shortage occupations with certificates of sponsorship lasting three years or less will experience a fee increase to £551 (up from £479).
A Look at the Broader Picture
These fee increases represent a significant change in the cost structure of UK visas, impacting individuals seeking various types of visas. Over the past two decades, UK visa fees have witnessed substantial growth, with the cost of some visas increasing exponentially.
These changes have sparked debate about the affordability and accessibility of UK visas compared to other countries. According to research by the Royal Society, UK immigration costs are considerably higher than those in several other countries, including Canada, Germany, France, and the USA.
As these new fee structures come into effect, individuals planning to apply for UK visas will need to carefully consider the financial implications of these changes.
Source: Financial Express
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