The British government’s decision to raise visa application fees across categories from Friday will have a significant impact on Indians, who travel to the United Kingdoms in big numbers.
In 2015, 85,403 Indians got entry clearance visas to the UK and were second to 93,076 Chinese travelling to the country. Work permit, skilled migration, students visa holders all require entry clearance before they enter the UK.
The impact of the hike will be felt across the board. The fee of “visas linked most closely to economic growth, such as those offered to workers and students” will go up by 2%. So is the case with tourist visa fee. Applications for settlement, residence and nationality fee would also see a steep hike of 25%.
The fee for intra-company transfer visa used by most Indian information technology companies to get their workers posted in the UK will go up to £1,151.
The fee for a tourist visa for six months will go up from £85 to £87. Tourist visa fee for two years will see a hike of £6 to £330 and for five years it will be £600 from £588 and for 10 years it will be £752 from £737.
Indian professionals and others on visas leading to a settlement in Britain will also see a steep rise of £375 when applying for ‘indefinite leave to remain’: the fee will rise from £1500 to £1875. The super premium service and priority visa services overseas will be increased by 33%.
The UK Home Office notification on the fee hike says the aim of the increase is to achieve a “self-funding system” while continuing to provide a “competitive level of service”. The UK government also said the “fees structure that remains attractive to businesses, migrants and visitors”, is their aim.