A proposal to hike British immigration visa fees, which will hit Indians as well, was introduced in the House of Commons on Thursday, weeks before the introduction of a new points based system for managing migration.
The hike, which follows an “astronomical increases” over a year ago, has been justified on the grounds that funds were needed for radical changes in the Government’s plans to improve border security over the next 12 months.
Raj Balu, immigration expert at Cooper, Tuft Consultants, one of the biggest and oldest immigration companies, told HT that the hike would not affect immigration from India. The Government, he said, felt that it could go on increasing the visa fee because so far no hike has affected the flow of immigrants into Britain.
The fee for the Highly Skilled Migrant T1 (General) Programme, which is popular among Indians, will go up from £400 to £600. The fee for work permit visa and visitor visa (long term) will be increased from £200 to 205 pounds, while the settlement visa will go up from 500 pounds to £515. The Visitor visa will go up from 63 pounds to 65 pounds. The student’s visa fee thankfully remains untouched at £99.
“These figures show that except in the HSM TI programme the increase will not inhibit those who feel that life in Britain will be of better standard than back home,” Balu added.