The United Kingdom government has announced a 600% increase in the cost of student and visitor visas, which will now cost £115 (approximately N111,878.28) instead of £15 (14,592.70) for visitors and £127 (N123,537.58) to £490 (N476,677.59) for students, effective October 4.
The Home Office announced an increase of more than 600% in the prices of the new visas.
The hike, according to the government, will allow it to pay for “vital services and allow more funding to be prioritised for public sector pay rises,” with the review taking effect on October 4.
The UK government made the announcement in a statement titled “New visa fees set to go into effect next month,” which was published on its website, gov.uk, on Friday, following the introduction of legislation in parliament on Friday.
“As a result of the changes, the cost of a visit visa for less than six months will rise by £15 (N14,592.70) to £115 (N111,878.28), while the fee for applying for a student visa from outside the UK will rise by £127 (N123,537.58) to £490 (N476,677.59), to equal the amount charged for in-country applications,” the statement said in part.
Remember that the government announced in July a 15% rise in the cost of most work and visit visas, as well as a 20% increase in the cost of priority visas, study visas, and sponsorship certificates.
“Income from fees charged plays a vital role in the Home Office’s ability to run a sustainable immigration and nationality system,” the statement continued. When determining fees, care is taken to minimise the financing contribution from British taxpayers while continuing to provide a service that is appealing to individuals desiring to work in the UK and foster broader prosperity for all.”
According to Saturday PUNCH’s research, the revisions include payments for up to six months, two-, five-, and ten-year visit visas.
The bulk of entrance clearance costs and some applications for leave to remain in the UK, including those for work and study, have also been raised.
Fees for indefinite leave to enter and indefinite leave to remain; convention travel document and stateless person’s travel document; health and care visa; fees for certificates of sponsorship and confirmation of acceptance for studies; and the in and out of country fees for the super-priority service and the out of country fee for the priority service were also raised.
It was said that the settlement priority service would be reduced to match the cost of using the priority service. The fee for registering and naturalising as a British citizen, as well as the fee for the User Pays Visa Application service, were also raised.
However, the announcement stated that, subject to parliamentary approval, immigration and nationality fees would be raised beginning October 4.
“Today’s changes do not include the planned increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge, which will be implemented later this autumn,” it noted.