The UK Government announced on 13 July 2023 that immigration fees are set to increase significantly. This comes as the Government has offered more than one million public sector workers, including police and doctors, pay rises of around 6%.

As a method to fund this pay rise, the Prime Minister has announced that the Government would raise over £1 billion by increasing visa application charges and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fees for migrants coming to the UK. The increased fees are said to cover more of the cost of the migration and border system and the pay rises for doctors.

The Government has yet to announce when these increases will take effect.

How much will the new visa fees be?

Both immigration and nationality fees are set to be increased.

The fees for Work and Visit visas will rise by 15%. Whilst Certificates of Sponsorship, Student visas, wider entry clearance visas, Leave to Remain, Settlement and Citizenship applications will increase by at least 20%. Priority service applications are also due to increase by at least 20%.

The cost of Student and priority service applications outside and inside the UK will also be equalised.

The table below provides an idea of how much the new visa application fees may amount to (NB we await the final amounts confirmed by the Home Office).

Application type Current Fee New Fee Fee Change
Visit visa – short up to 6 months £100 £115 £15
Skilled worker (3 years or less) from outside the UK £625 £718.75 £93.25
Certificate of Sponsorship for Skilled Worker £199 At least £238.80 At least £39.80
Settlement £1,538 At least £1,845.60 At least £307.60
Citizenship (naturalisation) £1,250 At least £1,500 At least £250
Priority service – outside the UK (for routes leading to Settlement) £573 At least £687.60 At least £114.60
Priority service – inside the UK £500 At least £600 At least £100

How much will the new Immigration Health Surcharge be?

There are currently two rates for the IHS: a normal rate and a discounted rate for students, those under the age of 18 and Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders.

Both the normal and discount rates will potentially increase as follows:

Rate Current Fee (per year) New Fee (per year) Fee Change (per year)
Normal £624 £1,035 £411
Discounted £470 £776 £306

For context, should the Government increase all fees in line with the announcement made, this means that a migrant looking to apply for a 3-year Skilled Worker entry clearance visa (single applicant) will be required to pay a total of £3,823.75, comprised of £3,105 for IHS in addition to a visa application fee of £718.75. This is in comparison to current total fees of £2,497, comprised of £1,872 for IHS and a visa application fee of £625.

For businesses, this increase will mean significantly higher costs associated with sponsoring migrant workers and accompanying dependants.

The exact date the fee increases will come into effect has not yet been announced but businesses or individuals considering future applications may wish to accelerate those plans and lock in the current fee rates.

If you require assistance or further information regarding upcoming changes, please do not hesitate to contact the Head of Immigration, Sundeep Rathod.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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