Earlier this week, Immigration Minister Damian Green issued a Written Ministerial Statement proposing certain immigration and nationality fees increases, set to take effect from 6 April this year.
The proposed increases form part of the UKBA’s vision to ensure “that migration is managed for the benefit of the UK”, as well as their plans to strike the perfect balance between maintaining effective border controls and attracting migrants who make a valued contribution to the UK economy.
According to the Statement, the UKBA believes that now is the right time to ask migrants to make a greater contribution to funding the UK Border Agency and that the Home Office should “continue to seek a shift in the funding provided by migrants to deliver the border and immigration system with a consequent reduction in the burden on taxpayers.”
The new proposed fees will be debated and finalised in Parliament, and whatever the outcome, will take effect from 6 April 2011. The proposed changes include an increase from £70 to £140 for a 12-month student visa; an increase from £750 to £800 for a Tier 1 visa for exceptionally talented persons or entrepreneurs; and an increase from £344 to £474 for Tier 1 post-study visa.
According to Robyn Cory from 1st Contact Visas, the suggested increases could be met with some resistance, but are likely to be approved for the most part.
“We have no way of knowing whether or not the fees increases will be implemented as proposed, but we can be certain that the fees will not decrease; so those wishing to live and work in the UK should lodge their applications as soon as possible if they want to save on the increased costs. It is also vital that applicants use a reputable agency who have an established relationship with the UKBA, and that they ensure they have all the required documentation and that all information required is completed accurately, so as not incur further costs or time delays.”
The full list of proposed increases, as well as the Ministerial Statement can be found on the UKBA website.