UK visitor, student visas to cost more from October 4

The British government has revealed its plan to increase visa fees, which will take effect on October 4th. Under the new fee structure, a visit visa for stays of fewer than six months will incur an additional charge of GBP 15. This change will also affect student visas, making them GBP 127 more expensive for applicants from various countries, including India. The adjustments come after legislation was presented in Parliament last Friday.

The UK Home Office explained that these modifications will result in the cost of a visit visa for stays of less than six months rising to GBP 115. Additionally, the fee for applying for a student visa from outside the UK will increase to GBP 490, aligning with the amount charged for in-country applications.

This decision follows the announcement by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in July, where he stated that fees and health surcharges paid by visa applicants to support the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) would increase significantly to accommodate public sector wage increases.

Sunak mentioned, “We are going to increase the charges that we have for migrants who are coming to this country when they apply for visas and indeed something called the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is the levy that they pay to access the NHS.”

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The Home Office has indicated a 15 percent rise in the cost of most work and visit visas, with priority visas, study visas, and certificates of sponsorship facing an increase of at least 20 percent.

The Home Office justified these changes, explaining, “Income from fees charged plays a vital role in the Home Office’s ability to run a sustainable immigration and nationality system. Careful consideration is given when setting fees to help reduce the funding contribution from British taxpayers, whilst continuing to provide a service that remains attractive to those wishing to work in the UK and support broader prosperity for all.”This fee hike applies to various visa categories, including health and care visas, applications for British citizenship, and fees for visit visas spanning six months, two years, five years, and ten years.The increase also impacts most entry clearance fees and specific applications for leave to remain in the UK, including those for work and study. It extends to fees for indefinite leave to enter and indefinite leave to remain, as well as fees related to certificates of sponsorship and confirmation of acceptance for studies.

These changes are subject to parliamentary approval and are scheduled to take effect from October 4th, as announced by the Home Office.

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