The UK Immigration Minister Mark Harper today laid a written ministerial statement proposing fee increases for visa applications made overseas and immigration applications made in the UK.
The proposals laid in Parliament today and on 14 March, although subject to Parliamentary approval which will be granted, will take effect from 6 April 2013.
Immigration Minister, Mark Harper said:
‘These increases are mostly in line with inflation and will ensure that the UK continues to welcome the brightest and the best. It is only right that those who use and benefit from the immigration system should contribute more than the UK taxpayer.’
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) added:
‘The fee increases takes place against a difficult financial context for the UK Border Agency and the government as a whole. We believe our proposals to increase fees strike the right balance between ensuring the UK Border Agency continues to provide a world class service and maintaining a fees structure that does not inhibit the UK’s ability to continue to attract those businesses, migrants and visitors who most benefit the UK.
‘These adjustments will also allow us to improve our levels of customer service and deliver a high quality immigration service at a challenging time for public finances across the UK.’
The government have cut back on border and UKBA staff and the service levels appear to be suffering as a result.
Immigration applicants frequently complain to Immigration Matters that they have not received anything like a satisfactory level of ‘customer service’ from the UKBA.
This is a recent comment:
‘Hi i applied flr (m). 7 july 2012. And then my biometric done 13 nov still im waiting no repsonse its been more than 6 months now what should i do?’
Migrants applying from within the UK for visa extensions or further leave to remain often wait for between 6-9 months before receiving a decision.
Students extended their visas have been refused after 8 months because they missed one document, which could have easily been requested by a caseworker.
By the time they are refused their visa has expired and CAS cancelled making it virtually impossible to remain in the UK. The goal appears to be aimed at getting people out of the country rather than providing a service.
EEA and European applicants do not pay fees to the UKBA, but also have to wait for over 6 months for a decision.
Some Romanian and Bulgarian ‘study work’ applicants would prefer to pay an application or ‘same day service’ appointment fee to obtain a yellow or blue card quickly, rather than wait the 6-8 months it currently takes.
If you have been arrested or detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 1, 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed, Spouse Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email:
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