Updated Immigration Visa Application Fees In October 2023
On September 26, 2023 | In General
| By A Y & J Solicitors
On 15th September 2023, the Home Office published details of the changes to immigration fees which will come into force on in October 2023. The fee changes will impact a wide range of visa types including work, student, and visit visas, in addition to other fees such as Indefinite Leave to Remain, British citizenship and even priority services. In this article, we will explain the key main changes to immigration application fees and why these have been made.
Why are immigration fee increasing?
According the news release accompanying the updated fee structure, the government has increased fees to “pay for vital services and allow more funding to be prioritised for public sector pay rises”. The government’s announcement also explains that “Income from fees charged plays a vital role in the Home Office’s ability to run a sustainable immigration and nationality system. Careful consideration is given when setting fees to help reduce the funding contribution from British taxpayers, whilst continuing to provide a service that remains attractive to those wishing to work in the UK and support broader prosperity for all”.
Which immigration fees are increasing in October 2023?
The new immigration fee regime will affect a wide range of Home Office fee types including:
- Visit visas for up to 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years
- Certain entry clearance applications to the UK including those for work and study
- Certain applications for leave to remain in the UK including those for work and study
- Indefinite leave to enter and indefinite leave to remain
- Certificates of sponsorship (CoS) and Confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS)
- Non-settlement priority application fee (for out-of-country applications)
- Super priority service (for in and out-of-country applications)
- The settlement priority service
- Applications to Register and Naturalise as a British Citizen, and
- User Pay fees at certain Visa Application centres.
How much are immigration fees increasing by?
In addition to providing a full schedule of the new immigration fee structure which will come into force on 4 October, the government has provided some details of the scale of the increased and rationale. It states, “an increase of 15-20% is being sought across a range of different immigration and nationality products and services in order to significantly contribute to wider Home Office funding objectives”.
Some of the main increases to be aware of are as follows:
- Visit visa fees: 15% increase to fees on UK visitor visas, with the exception of visits for up to 2 years for which a 6% increase is being applied.
- Work visa application fees: 15% per cent increase to fees on work routes. As the explanatory memorandum explains, “In some cases, a proportionally lower fee increase is being made to ensure that the new fee is within the bounds of fee maxima that were in force at the time the increases were agreed”.
- Student visa application fees: Student visa out of country fees have increased by 35% to align with the in-country fee.
- Settlement and citizenship application fees: 20% increase to fees on wider entry clearance routes, settlement applications, and British citizenship applications. The guidance confirms that a lower 4% increase has been applied to the ‘Route to Settlement – Refugee Dependent Relative’.
- Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) and Confirmations of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) fees – 19 to 20% increase
- Priority visa (PV) and super priority visa (SPV) application fees – PV will be aligned at £500 and SPV at £1000. This represents a 100% increase to PV application fees for out-of-country applications and a 25% for in-country SPV applications.
- “User Pay” Visa Application Centre (VAC) fee – to increase from £55 to £76.50, to reflect “increased commercial costs”.
When will the new fees come into force?
The new fees will come into force on 4th October 2023. As the Home Office has stated:
“Subject to Parliamentary approval, the immigration and nationality fees will increase from 4 October 2023. Today’s changes do not include the planned increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) which are scheduled to be introduced later in the Autumn”.
There are two exceptions to be aware of:
- The £1,846 fee for the new immigration route for Gurkha and Hong Kong military unit veterans discharged before 1st July 1997 will come into force on 5th October 2023, and
- The £10 fee for the Electronic Travel Authorisation will come into force on 25th October 2023 when applications for this new scheme will formally open.
All immigration fees to apply from 4th October 2023
A full schedule of all the new fees can be located on the gov.uk website at the following link:
It’s important to note that these changes do not include the increase in the immigration healthcare surcharge which will increase from £624 per person per year to £1,035 later in the year.
A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or contact us today. We’re here to help!