Parliamentary approval for increase in immigration, nationality plea fees.
5th April 2011: Applying to study, visit, work or stay in the UK? From 6th April, be ready to pay more immigration and nationality application fees.
New immigration fees will be introduced from Wednesday 6 April 2011 for foreign nationals applying to visit, study, work or settle in the UK, and for employers and education providers applying for a sponsor licence.
This follows Parliamentary approval to proposal to increase immigration and nationality application fees.
The new fees were announced on 28 February by Immigration Minister Damian Green.
The UK Border Agency has asserted: `If you are making an application on or after 6 April 2011, please ensure that you enclose the correct fee. We will return any applications where an incorrect fee is paid’.
The UKBA has already asserted: `Under the current spending review, the Home Office is implementing a real terms reduction in budgets of up to a 20 per cent. The UK Border Agency is already seeking to offset this income gap with efficiency savings of approximately £500 million by reducing support costs, increasing efficiencies, boosting productivity and improving value for money from commercial suppliers.
`But these measures will not go far enough, and to address the funding shortfall the UK Border Agency will need to increase fees for financial year 2011/12.
`The UK Border Agency believe the proposals to increase fees continue to strike the right balance between maintaining secure and effective border controls and ensuring that the fees structure does not inhibit the UK’s ability to attract those migrants and visitors that make a valued contribution. This will help to support the immigration system, maintain public confidence and ensure that migration is managed for the benefit of the UK’.
It has added: `We charge fees to ensure that we raise the money we need to run a strong, robust immigration system and to offer a world-class level of service. We set our fees at levels that are fair to our customers.
`When setting fee levels, we work within strict financial limits agreed with HM Treasury and the UK Parliament. We balance a number of complex factors, including: the cost of processing applications; the importance of attracting certain groups of migrants to the UK; and the value of a successful application to the migrant.
`We have made carefully considered decisions to set some fees at or below the cost of delivery and other fees, such as the application fee for British nationality, above the cost of delivery, to reflect the value of the product.
`Our method of setting fees will help to protect some routes from significant increases, and will contribute to the additional revenue needed to fund enforcement and other improvements to the immigration system’.