United Kingdom: New immigration, visa fees to take effect this week

What is the change? The U.K. Government has set out proposed changes to immigration, visa and nationality fees as well as to fees for premium services.

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What does the change mean? The new fees will take effect April 6. Fees for visitors, workers and students will increase by 2 percent. Naturalization fees will increase by almost 4 percent. Fees for settlement and indefinite leave to remain will jump by 22.5 percent, which officials say reflects the benefits associated with these applications (e.g., education, public services and access to the U.K. labor market). Premium services will also see big increases (23 percent). There will be no increases to fees for applications under the sponsorship system, e.g., the fees for certificates of sponsorship and sponsor licence applications will remain the same.

  • Implementation time frame: April 6.
  • Visas/permits affected: With the exception of applications and services under the sponsorship system, almost all immigration services and visa categories will be affected.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for visit visas, work visas, student visas, naturalization, settlement or indefinite leave to remain, among others.
  • Business impact: The changes will increase business costs for some, though the relatively modest increases for workers are in line with the government’s inflation targets.

Additional information: Fees will increase across a number of visa categories and immigration services, including the following:

Visa/serviceCurrent FeeFee from April 6Percentage Increase
Tier 2 (General)£575£5872.0%
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) – Long Term Staff£575£5872.0%
Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) – Short Term Staff, Graduate Trainee, and Skills Transfer (dependants only)*£454£4632.0%
Tier 4 (General) student visa£328£3352.0%
Naturalization£1,236£1,2823.7%
Settlement visas£1,195£1,46422.5%
Indefinite leave to remain£1,875£2,29722.5%
Priority visa service£450£55122.5%

*A £55 discount applies for main applicants under the Council of Europe Social Charter (CESC).

A full list of the visa and immigration fees is available on this U.K. government website.

BAL Analysis: The proposed fee increases will impact business costs for certain applications, e.g., indefinite leave to remain applications. Affected employers and individuals should therefore take note of the fee increases and plan accordingly.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com.

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