Changes to immigration fees considered by Parliament

A range of changes to the fees charged for visas and immigration services have been presented to Parliament. If approved, the new charges will apply from 6 April 2014. Most fees are set to increase by at least 4% according the the UKBA announcement.

The UKBA have stated the fees are being increased to ‘allow [them] to improve customer service, and enable [them] to begin offering optional premium services’. Planned premium services include:

  • a 3-5 day priority visa service costing £100 on top of other visa fees
  • a priority settlement application service, costing £300
  • a super priority visa service for £600, which will expedite the application process to the shortest period possible
  • appointments outside of office hours for a fee of £50
  • offering a passport passback service at more locations, which will be charged at £40 per applicant.

A limited number of fees are marked for reduction in an attempt to balance costs across the system. These include:

  • reducing the fee for direct airside transit visa to £40
  • reducing sponsorship fees for Tier 2 large sponsor licenses and sponsor action plans, and freezing a number of other sponsorship fees
  • introducing a Tier 2 shortage occupations fee of £428 for applicants both overseas and in the UK
  • introducing a new 5 year Tier 2 general/ICT application
  • changing the discount for nationals of countries that have ratified the 1961 European Social Charter to a flat rate of £55.

You can find a complete list of the proposed new fees on the UKBA website, along with the written ministerial statement announcing the changes.

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