UK immigration fees to increase this week

04 Apr 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Immigration fees for people looking for UK visas to study, work and settle down are due to increase later this week.

The new fee system was announced on February 28th, but will come into effect from April 6th for all foreign nationals, education providers and employers applying for a sponsor licence.

UK immigration minister Damian Green presented the written ministerial statement announcing the proposed fees in February, explaining that the changes are designed to "generate revenue which is used to fund the UK immigration system".

Mr Green explained that this is partly necessary due to the reduced levels of public spending  being enforced by central government in the wake of the recession.

Indeed, the Home Office is implementing a real term budget reduction of around 20 per cent. Some of this will be offset with efficiency savings of approximately £500 million by lowering support costs, increasing efficiencies and boosting productivity.

However, the UKBA explained that these measures will not go far enough and so fees need to be increased to balance the shortfall.

The news comes amid a raft of changes to the UK immigration service. From May 9th, the certificate of approval scheme for spouse visas is due to be abolished, meaning that any migrants who wish to get married in the UK after this date will not need to apply to the immigration authorities if they wish to get married or register a civil partnership.