The British government has announced that visa fees in the UK will increase, affecting both tourists and students. Starting from October 4, the cost of a visit visa for less than six months will rise by GBP 15, while student visas will become GBP 127 more expensive for travelers from around the world, including Indians.
These changes come after legislation was tabled in Parliament on Friday. The UK Home Office explained that the increased fees are designed to align the cost of applying for a student visa from outside the UK with the amount charged for in-country applications. As a result, the fee for applying for a student visa will rise to GBP 490. Additionally, the cost of a visit visa for less than six months will rise to GBP 115.
The decision to raise visa fees was announced by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in July. Sunak stated that the increased fees and health surcharge paid by visa applicants towards the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) are necessary to meet the country’s public sector wage increase. He emphasized that these fee increases would generate over GBP 1 billion in revenue.
The Home Office has indicated that the cost of most work and visit visas will increase by 15 percent, while priority visas, study visas, and certificates of sponsorship will experience a minimum 20 percent increase. The Home Office justified these fee hikes by stating that the income generated from fees plays a critical role in maintaining a sustainable immigration and nationality system.
It is important to note that these visa fee increases affect individuals from all around the world, including Indian travelers. This move by the British government aims to ensure that the cost of applying for a visa accurately reflects the expenses incurred by the authorities in processing and managing immigration applications.
Critics may argue that these fee increases could deter individuals from visiting or studying in the UK. However, the government’s decision to raise visa fees is primarily driven by the need to support public sector wage increases and maintain a sustainable immigration system. As a result, it is crucial to strike a balance between generating revenue and providing accessible and affordable opportunities for individuals traveling to the UK.
Overall, the British government’s decision to raise visa fees will come into effect from October 4. This change will impact both tourists and students, with the aim of generating additional revenue to support the country’s public sector wage increase. While these fee increases may raise concerns, it is important to recognize the government’s need to maintain a sustainable immigration system.
More detail via The Hans India here… ( Image via The Hans India )