(CTN News) – The British government has recently unveiled plans to increase visa fees, with the changes set to take effect from October 4. These fee hikes will affect various visa categories, impacting travelers from around the world, including Indian nationals.
Details of the British Visa Fee Increases
As part of the fee adjustments, the cost of a visit visa for stays under six months will rise by £15, bringing the new fee to £115. Additionally, student visas for applicants from outside the U.K. will see a significant increase of £127, resulting in a total fee of £490, aligning with the fees charged for in-country applications.
Reasons Behind the Fee Hike
The decision to raise visa fees stems from a broader effort to fund the U.K.’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) and address public sector wage increases.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had previously announced the intention to increase fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), emphasizing the need to generate over GBP 1 billion in revenue.
These adjustments are seen as necessary to ensure the sustainability of the immigration and nationality system while reducing the burden on British taxpayers.
Impact on Different Visa Categories
The fee increases are not limited to specific visa types; they apply across various categories. This includes work and visit visas, priority visas, study visas, and certificates of sponsorship.
The changes reflect a 15% increase in the cost of most work and visit visas, with priority visas, study visas, and certificates of sponsorship facing at least a 20% hike in fees.
Parliamentary Approval and Implementation Date
It’s important to note that these fee adjustments are subject to parliamentary approval. Assuming approval is granted, the changes will come into effect on October 4, as announced by the Home Office. This date marks the beginning of the new fee structure for visa applications in the United Kingdom.
In conclusion, the British government’s decision to increase visa fees is aimed at generating additional revenue to support the NHS and public sector wage increases. These fee hikes will impact various visa categories, affecting travelers from various countries. As the changes await parliamentary approval, they are set to be implemented on October 4, 2023.