Big increase in UK immigration fees from 6 April 2011

Some UK Government Visa fees will more than double from 6 April 2011. This will affect non-EU nationals who wish to live, work or study in the UK. UK employers and educational institutions will also have to pay higher UK sponsorship fees.

Some of the changes to UK visa fees are as follows:

  • A number of same day PEO applications for dependents made from within the UK will double in price or more than double in price.
  • Tier 1 Visas made from within the UK will go up from £850 to £1,000.
  • Short term student visas for periods of less than twelve months will double from £70 to £140.
  • Settlement visas for dependent relatives will be even more expensive going up from £1,680 to £1,814.
  • Most other UK visa fees will also increase. However, the increases will generally not be more than about five to twenty percent in most other cases. For example a Tier 2 postal application will increase in price from £500 to £550.

Damian Green the immigration minister had the following to say:

"The fees allow us to generate revenue which is used to fund the UK immigration system and to set certain fees below cost recovery to support wider government objectives. The revenue generated will contribute towards securing our Borders and controlling migration for the benefit of the UK.

"Given the need to reduce public spending, we have had to carefully consider our fee levels, to ensure we can maintain good service levels to our customers and secure the border for the general public."

It seems that UK immigration is again targeting dependents when it comes to UK visa fee increases. The UK has some of the highest immigration visa fees in the World.

It remains to be seen whether these visa fee increases will help the Government fund the UK immigration system and improve border security. The increase in visa fees is likely to put off some people from coming to the UK. The problem is that it may put off people who are actually needed by the UK economy to deal with skills shortages.