With the powers that be analyzing by the end of the year, January to March are usually the months in which the immigration and nationality fee revisions plans are finalized, which leads to an actual change around the same time as our new financial year.
On cue, the British Government has announced its proposed fee changes for UK Visa, immigration and nationality applications, which are to be implemented from the 5th of April, 2018: [Read here]According to the Home Office UK visa fees for most categories are set to rise, while UK visa fees for some categories may see a marginal decline, while UK visa fees for some categories will remain unchanged including for Premium Sponsor schemes for Tier 2 and Tier 5 Visas.
Key highlights for UK visa fees include:
- Almost 25% increase in UK visa fees for settlement visas, residence and nationality visas
- A targeted increase for premium services, such as the priority visa service
- Nominal increase of 4% for UK Visit visas, study visas including [Tier 4 General and Tier 4 Child] and work visas including Tier 1, Tier 2 visas.
The information above has been consolidated by our attorneys at The SmartMove2UK.
The move that draws our attentions is the massive increase in the fees for settlement, residence and nationality applications. The 25% increase in costs for those migrants seeking to reside permanently in the UK could easily be construed as an attempt by the government to deter overseas nationals from making the UK their home.
According Falguni Y Parekh, Solicitor at The SmartMove2UK, “applicants who are already eligible to apply for a UK Visa may be best advised to file their applications ahead of this substantial fee change”.
The relatively small increase in the visit, work and study visas will not be without tough news either.
While the cost for these individual visa applications will only rise minimally, these small increased will be having an adverse impact, particularly on small and medium businesses as the expenses for employing foreign skilled workers from outside the EEA will be heightened.
The rise in costs will also affect applicants applying from countries like India.
If you are considering applying for UK visa it may be recommended to seek advise from professional UK Immigration consultants who have a track record of successful cases to avoid losing the UK visa fees and have a efficient plan of moving to UK..
Many people believe that the Home Office makes exorbitant profits on these visa fees. The perpetual increase in fees is at times backed with poor services; no opportunity to track applications online and unsatisfactory responses for application status queries.
These factors may result in many skilled Indian nationals considering other counties with more stable and friendly immigration policies.
The Greater Good
However there is some good news. Like mentioned earlier, sponsorship categories will not experience any fee changes and will stay at the current rates. The broader purpose of the increases in the fees in other categories is to reduce taxpayer costs towards the UK immigration system, making it self-funding by the year 2020.
All the new charges will come into effect starting from the 5th of April 2018 until March of 2019. The full list of old fees, new fees, and the percent changes can be found here
The SmartMove2UK is an immigration law firm that offers specialized services in UK immigration guidance. In order to understand the full impact of the UK visa fee changes mentioned in this article, and for start-to-finish guidance for your own UK Visa application, contact our professional immigration attorneys.
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