The British government has now introduced a charge for any email enquiries made about UK visas.
The charge of £5.48 is set to be levied for each email as part of the UK Home Office’s decision to outsource its customer enquiry service for UK visas to a private firm.
According to the government, those applying for UK visas will be required to pay using either a credit or debit card if they contact the department via email, with the charge including the first email enquiry and any follow-up emails to and from the customer service centre.
A government statement suggested that the introduction of the charge will result in a number of change for those applying for UK visas, to reduce costs and ensure that those who receive any benefit as a result of their application are contributing to the system.
The changes reportedly apply to all applicants who make a UK work permit or visa enquiry by email from outside of Britain, with some politicians suggesting this could impact the number of people who want to plan a holiday in the UK.
“Britain should be trying to attract more tourists and highly-skilled workers, these new rules make it less likely they will apply,” said Susan Kramer, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Business Secretary.
“The Conservatives manifesto pledge to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands is at best delusional but at worst experts have warned that trying to achieve it could cost us £6 billion. Theresa May is putting party politics ahead of the country’s well being and she should be ashamed,” she said.