London: A proposed visa fee hike announced by the British government will come into effect from today after the parliament accorded its nod, a development that would affect a large number of Indian nationals, among others. The UK Home Office announced the hike in fees for Immigration and Nationality services in July. It was then proposed to effect a 15 % increase in fees for almost all visa categories, including visiting visas.
The fee for Priority visas, Study visas, and Sponsorship certificates too is witnessing a minimum 20% hike from today. Most Entry Clearance fees, and that for the special applications for continuing in the UK for job and study purposes, have been raised. The fee for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) saw a surge as well.
With the UK government hiking the work visa fees and surcharges in the Health sector, Indian nationals will be the most affected, especially those working as nurses, doctors, and carers there.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak earlier made it clear that the fee hike, including that for Immigration, is to support the wage increase for the country’s public sector employees and to upgrade the state-funded National Health Service (NHS). The fee hike is applicable to various visa categories, including health and care visas, applications for British citizenship, and the different visiting visas of six months, two years, five years, and a 10-year validity period.
The fee for the visiting visas under six months will rise to 115 pounds, an increase of 15 pounds, while the new visa application fee for outside students will be 490 pounds, instead of the earlier 363. The applicants for student visas from countries, including India, will now have to dole out an additional 127 pounds.
The UK government has also hiked various skilled work visas. The charges from the UK for the Skilled Worker Visa under three years have been increased to 827 pounds from 719 pounds. The new fee for Specialist Worker Visa to those from outside the country will be 719 pounds, instead of the earlier 625 pounds.
If those from the UK need to avail of the Skilled Worker visa for over three years, they have to remit 1500 pounds, a hike of 77 pounds. And the same for applicants from abroad is 1420 pounds instead of the earlier 1235 pounds.
The fee for applicants from the UK, included on the Shortage Occupation List, for a Skilled Worker Visa with a maximum three-year period, has been raised from 479 pounds to 551 pounds.
Those from abroad have to pay Rs 551 pounds now instead of 479 pounds. The applicants from the UK included on the Shortage Occupation List, and applying for a Skilled Worker Visa for over three years will now have to pay 1084 pounds instead of the earlier 943 pounds. Those from abroad have to remit 1084 pounds instead of the earlier 943.
Those from the UK applying for Health and Care Skilled Worker Visa under three years have to pay 284 pounds instead of 247 pounds, those from abroad too need to remit 284 pounds (earlier 247). Those from the UK who are applying for the same visa, but for a period of over three years, need to dole out 551 pounds, instead of 479 pounds, while those from outside the country need to pay 551 pounds (earlier 479 pounds). For more details on the visa fee hikes, visit the Home Office website