The Home Office and UK Visas have announced a hike in visa and Leave to Remain fees.
From April 1, thousands of migrants currently in Britain will have to pay £750 for the ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain‘, which entitles permanent residency in the UK. The new charge is more than double the current fee of £335.
The new fee structure will affect migrants across the board including work permit holders, students, visa applicants, family settlement applicants, and those seeking permanent residency.
The fee changes, which will start in April, include the following:
- settlement visas: increase from £260 to £500
- work permit visas: increase from £85 to £200
- visitor visas: increase from £50 to £63
- student visas: increase from £85 to £99
- indefinite leave to remain: increases from £335 to £750
- naturalisation fees: increase from £200 to £575
- highly skilled migrant approval: increase from £315 to £400
The visa fee for the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP) will rise by 25% from £315 to £400. The student visa will go up from £85 to £99; an increase of more than 15%.
Publishing the new visa fees, Liam Byrne, minister for Immigration, Citizenship, and Nationality, said: ‘The new model will involve setting fees taking into account a number of factors, such as value to the migrant and international competitiveness.
‘This will mean that, for those routes we believe to be the most sensitive to price increases, or where we believe that wider issues make a strong argument for doing so, we will set fees at cost recovery or below.
‘Those routes that we believe, on the basis of the research, are less sensitive to increases in visa and in-country application fees, and bring increased value to migrants in terms of their entitlements, would be charged at levels that contribute substantially more to the overall cost of the immigration system.’
Earlier in the day, Home Secretary, John Reid, also announced a raft of measures to clamp down on illegal immigration and ‘benefit theft’ by ‘foreigners’.
‘The measures are aimed at preventing “foreigners” coming to the UK illegally and “stealing our benefits” and the facilities of the National Health Service (NHS),’ Mr Reid said.
He also said he wanted to make life ‘uncomfortable and constrained’ for illegal immigrants.
For a full list of the new fees visit the Home Office website http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/news/visa-fees
If you should have any questions or need help please email Charles Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be speaking at the ‘Showcase for Social Care and Social Work’, organized by Surrey Care Association and Skills for Care, on: “Employing Overseas Staff?” – 14th March 2007 at the Copthorne Hotel, Effingham Park.
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