New UK immigration fees proposed

25 Feb 2013 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Immigration minister Mark Harper has laid a written ministerial statement before Parliament, which contains proposed fee increases for UK visa applications.

The proposals will govern UK visa application made from both overseas and from within Britain. Further information will be presented on March 14th, before the changes take effect from April 6th this year, so long as they receive Parliamentary approval. In line with the rise in inflation, the majority of the increases are set to be limited to three per cent.

Mr Harper commented on the reasoning behind the increases in cost: "The UK Border Agency has given careful consideration to its fee levels, to ensure they provide the funding necessary to operate effective immigration controls and invest in improving service levels to customers.

"This is balanced against the need to ensure that the UK continues to attract and welcome the ‘brightest and best’ migrants from around the world and those that make a valued contribution to British society."

The immigration minister added that certain application categories will still have higher fees associated with them. According to the government, this is to "reflect their value to successful applications". These higher fees are designed to allow lower fees to be applied in different areas of the system and to provide "support of wider government objectives to attract those business, workers, students and visitors who most benefit the UK".

For example, Tier 1 UK work permits for entrepreneurs, investors or those of exceptional talent will cost £840 from April 6th; an increase of £24 on the current level. Meanwhile, Tier 1 work permits for graduate entrepreneurs will just a lot less at £298.