Yesterday, on 11 January 2016, proposed changes to fees for UK visas, nationality, immigration and Premium Service applications, were announced by the government. The proposed changes will take place throughout 2016-17, with the majority of changes being fee increases rather than reductions.
Such fee changes will apply only after additional legislation is laid before Parliament, which is due to take place by April 2016.
The proposed changes will see visitor, settlement and nationality visa fee increases, however, Tier 2 Sponsor Licences and Certificates of Sponsorship remain unchanged. This aligns with the government’s targets to cut immigration figures without impacting the valuable, Tier 2 skilled workforce. Premium Services will also see increases, with applicants possibly having to decide whether they want to wait for a postal application.
Maximum levels will be set on fee upsurges for categories that the Home Office are able to charge over the coming 4 years, yet, it seems that there will be no increases to the maximum levels themselves.
Migrate UK comment that “the government wants UK Visas and Immigration to become a self-sufficient, self-funded service by 2020 in an attempt to decrease taxpayer contributions.”