13 October, 2023
As of the 4th of October 2023, there have been significant amendments to Immigration and Nationality fees by way of the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2023. The primary objective behind these changes was to support vital services, with a focus on prioritising funding for public sector pay rises.
These fee modifications are applicable to applications submitted both within the UK and overseas. Whether you are applying for a UK visa, extending your existing stay, or pursuing indefinite leave to remain, it is important to stay informed about these recent changes.
Effective from the 4th of October, application fees for skilled workers and a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) have seen a notable 15% increase. The CoS fee rising from £199 to £239 and the skilled worker visa fee for three years or less rising from £625 to £719. This increase also applies to skilled workers already residing in the UK who wish to extend their stay and those entering the country via Health and Care visas or in shortage occupations.
Likewise, visit visas (valid up to six months) have also undergone a 15% increase, now set at £115, from the previous fee of £100. For those seeking a multiple visit visa for up to five years is now £771 and for up to ten years is £963.
Applicants seeking indefinite leave to remain are not exempt from these fee adjustments. The fee for indefinite leave to remain, previously set at £2404 is now £2885.
British nationality application fees have also risen by 20%. For adults, this amounts to £1351, up from the previous fee of £1126, while children's registration fees have increased to £1214 from the previous cost of £1012.
One of the most notable changes is to the student visa costs, which have witnessed a substantial 35% increase. Formerly priced at £365, student visas now cost £490, applicable to both adult and child students.
Other fee adjustments include a 25% increase in the Super Priority Service fee, raising it from £800 to £1000, and a 39% increase to the User Pays Visa Application Centre (VAC) fee, which has increased from £55 to £76.50 to account for increased commercial costs.
It's important to note that these changes do not cover alterations to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which is expected to increase by 66% later this Autumn. However, the exact date of this adjustment remains unspecified.
For a comprehensive list of all the changes, please click here
Individuals applying for visas or leave to remain will face financial obstacles when seeking entry, amplifying the difficulties arising from the ongoing cost of living crisis. Applicants will face higher costs for visa fees and related expenses, which can be particularly burdensome for whole families seeking entry.
These changes make it more challenging for students pursuing an education in the UK, with the increase in student visa fees potentially discouraging students from choosing the UK as their study destination. This could result in a reduced pool of skilled and diverse talent entering the UK job market.
Businesses sponsoring skilled foreign workers will feel the impact of a 15% increase in application fees, which will raise the cost of bringing in talent from abroad. The added costs come at a time when businesses are already grappling with rising interest rates and energy expenses, potentially discouraging them from hiring skilled workers. These added financial burdens can strain businesses in their efforts to recruit staff, impacting their ability to access specific skills and expertise, hindering both business growth and innovation.
For more information contact Mohammad Chaudhry in our Business Immigration department via email or phone on 01772220225. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.
Learn more about our Business Immigration department here