The UK government announced on 15 September 2023 that immigration fees will increase from 4 October 2023. This change follows the announcement on 13 July 2023 that immigration fees and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fees will be increased significantly.

Whilst the announcement on Friday confirms when visa application fees will increase, the government have yet to announce when increases to IHS fees will take effect – we anticipate such increase may take place in Q4 of 2023 or Q1 of 2024.

Visa application fees for students applying from overseas are set to increase the most, with both Student and Child Student visas set to increase to £490 per applicant, up 35% from the current fee of £363.

However, the table published also confirms that the fees for Student and Child Student visa applications made from within the UK will not change from the current £490. This follows the July announcement that the cost of Student applications made from outside and inside the UK will be equalised following the increases.

Likewise, priority and Super Priority visa service fees for non-settlement and settlement visa applications made from outside and inside the UK will be equalised. The priority service for overseas non-settlement visa applications will see a dramatic 100% increase (with fees rising from £250 to £500) whilst priority service for overseas settlement visa applications will decrease from £573 to £500. Priority service for in-country applications will remain at £500 (5 working day turnaround). The Super Priority service will increase to £1,000 for all applicants (24 hours turnaround).

How much are the new visa fees from 4 October 2023?

Both immigration and nationality fees will be increased.

The fees for Work and Visit visas will rise by up to 15%. Certificates of Sponsorship, wider entry clearance visas, Leave to Remain, Settlement and Citizenship applications will increase by 15 – 20%.

The table below provides an idea of how much the new visa application fees will be from early October.

Application type Current Fee New Fee Fee Change (and %)
Visit visa – short up to 6 months £100 £115 £15 (15%)
Skilled worker (3 years or less) from outside the UK £625 £719 £94 (15%)
Certificate of Sponsorship for Skilled Worker £199 £239 £40 (20%)
Settlement £1,538 £1,846 £308 (20%)
Citizenship (naturalisation) £1,250 £1,500 £250 (20%)
Priority service – outside the UK (for routes leading to Settlement) £573 £500 -£73 (-13%)
Priority service – outside the UK (for routes not leading to Settlement) £250 £500 £250 (100%)
Super Priority service – inside the UK £800 £1,000 £200 (25%)

When will Immigration Health Surcharge fees be increased and how much will it be?

We await further announcement from the government as to the exact date IHS fees will be increased.

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 IHS fees in line with the announcement made, this means that from 4 October 2023, a migrant looking to apply for a 3-year Skilled Worker entry clearance visa (single applicant) will be required to pay a total of £3,824, comprised of £3,105 for IHS in addition to a visa application fee of £719. This is in comparison to current total fees of £2,497, comprised of £1,872 for IHS and a visa application fee of £625. This marks a total increase of 53%.

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

Businesses or individuals considering future applications may wish to accelerate those plans and submit applications before 4 October 2023 to 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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