22nd September 2010: From next month be ready to pay more for visiting, studying, working or staying in the UK.
For the UK Border Agency is increasing UK Visa and nationality application fees for all those applying to visit, study, work or stay in the UK beginning next month.
While some visa and immigration fees will increase next month, others will go up from November.
The increase in the fee is in sync with broader announcements on reductions in public spending. It is expected to help the department meet budgetary pressures, besides efficiency savings.
The UK minister for Immigration Damian Green said the Government has looked again at the contribution made towards the costs of running an immigration system by the users of that system, balanced against those costs met by the UK taxpayer and believes proposals to increase fees at this time are in the best interests of the UK.
Green says securing the border brings with it an unavoidable core of cost, especially as they seek to improve customer service for visa applicants: something which they believe was important in the efficient running of the UK economy.
As of now, the regulations aimed at setting application fees at or below the cost of processing are subject to negative parliamentary procedure, and these fees are expected to increase from 1 October 2010.
In cases where a fee charged is set above the cost of processing, the regulations are subject to affirmative parliamentary process; and are scheduled to come into effect in November, subject to parliamentary timetabling.
The UKBA has asserted the decision to increase the fees will be properly reviewed not only to benefit the UK, but also to help maintain secure border control and to carry on with the UK’s ability to attract tourism and much needed skilled workers.