On 13 July 2023, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that visa application fees and the immigration health surcharge will rise significantly.
The announcement came after a speech regarding an increase in public sector wages. Mr Sunak confirmed that part of the funding for the wage increase will be raised from the foreign migrants who come to the UK to live and work.
The government have confirmed that work and visa fees will rise by 15%. All other visa fees will rise by at least 20%. There is no current timeframe given as to when these fees will rise but the current published fees can be found on the Government website.
The immigration health surcharge will also rise significantly. Introduced in March 2015, the fee was charged at £200 per application. The fee doubled to £400 in December 2018 and then increased further in December 2020 to £624 per adult and £470 for discounted applicant such as students and children.
The government have announced that the immigration health surcharge will rise to £1,035 per person per person per year. The discounted rate will rise to £776. This reflects a 66% increase in this fee.
For business owners who desperately need to look to the overseas labour market for vacancies, these rises will be a huge increase in recruitment spending. For migrants looking to work in the UK, these fees are significantly higher than other countries such as the United States or France. It is not unreasonable to predict that migrant workers will consider work elsewhere.
This is a developing story and we anticipate more information will come shortly, including when these visa fees will rise. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Immigration Team who will be happy to assist.
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