Increased visa and nationality fees to come into effect next month
The government have now released further information on these planned increases, including a date for increased application fees coming into effect- just three weeks away, on 4 October 2023.
The increases coming on 4 October 2023 include fees for immigration and nationality applications and priority processing services. Application fees are generally increasing somewhere between 15-35% depending on the application category. This is higher than the Home Office’s initial announcement which suggested increases of between 15-20% across the board. Student applications are being hit with the highest increase, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise given that the student category has been the focus of the government’s plans to reduce net migration: Net migration figures continue to increase, according to ONS (shoosmiths.com).
Confirmed Home Office visa fees applicable from 4 October 2023 can now be accessed here: Home Office immigration and nationality fees: 4 October 2023 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Some examples of the fee increases which will impact sponsoring employers are as follows:
- Skilled Worker visa/Senior or Specialist Worker (GBM) applications:
- Outside UK (3 years or less) - £625 increasing to £719 (£94 increase)
- Outside UK (over 3 years) - £1,235 increasing to £1,420 (£185 increase)
- Inside UK (3 years or less) - £719 increasing to £827 (£108 increase)
- Inside UK (over 3 years)- £1,423 increasing to £1,500 (£77 increase)
- GBM routes (Graduate Trainee, Service Supplier, UK Expansion Worker, Secondment Worker):
- Inside or outside UK- £259 increasing to £298 (£39 increase)
- Fees to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): Skilled Worker, T2 Minister of Religion, Senior or Specialist Worker- £199 increasing to £239 (£40 increase)
It’s important to note at this stage that these upcoming increases to fees coming on 4 October 2023 do not include the announced 66% increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge (currently at £624 per year and increasing to £1,035 per year). This increase requires a different parliamentary process and the best information we have on when to expect this is ‘later in the Autumn’.
Nonetheless, these increases to application fees are substantial and likely to have a significant financial impact for applicants and their sponsors. Any applications submitted from 4 October 2023 will be subject to these higher fees and therefore we’d recommend that where possible, any upcoming immigration applications should be made prior to this increase, where the applicant’s current status and route to settlement will allow for this.
Looking forward, the upcoming increase to the IHS later in Autumn is also something that should be avoided wherever possible. This may require a review of upcoming applications to ensure they are being submitted at the earliest available date, or a reconsideration of recruitment processes and spending budgets to prepare for the increase.
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