UK visa fee hike for visitors effective this week: Impact on Indians explained | World News - Hindustan Times
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UK visa fee hike for visitors effective this week: Impact on Indians explained

Oct 03, 2023 08:10 PM IST

UK Visa Hike: The UK Home Office said that the changes mean that the cost for a visit visa for less than six months will rise to GBP 115.

A proposed visa fee hike announced by the British government will become effective this week. With this, a visit visa for under six months will cost GBP 15 more and student visas will be GBP 127 more expensive for travellers from around the world. The UK Home Office said that the changes mean that the cost for a visit visa for less than six months will rise to GBP 115 and the fee for applying for a student visa from outside the UK will rise to GBP 490.

A woman with an umbrella and the Elizabeth Tower also known as Big Ben are reflected in a puddle in London.(AP)
A woman with an umbrella and the Elizabeth Tower also known as Big Ben are reflected in a puddle in London.(AP)

"It is right and fair to increase visa application fees so we can fund vital public services and allow wider funding to contribute to public sector pay," a UK Home Office spokesperson said.

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“Income from fees charged plays a vital role in the Home Office’s ability to run a sustainable immigration and nationality system. Careful consideration is given when setting fees to help reduce the funding contribution from British taxpayers, whilst continuing to provide a service that remains attractive to those wishing to work in the UK and support broader prosperity for all,” the Home Office said.

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This comes after UK prime minister Rishi Sunak said that the fees and health surcharge paid towards the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) by visa applicants are set to rise “significantly” to meet the country’s public sector wage increase.

“We are going to increase the charges that we have for migrants who are coming to this country when they apply for visas and indeed something called the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is the levy that they pay to access the NHS,” he said, adding, “All of those fees are going to go up and that will raise over GBP 1 billion, so across the board visa application fees are going to go up significantly and similarly for the IHS."

UK’s Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) said, “Increasing visa fees for people making their home in the UK is unfair, divisive and dangerous, especially during a cost-of-living crisis that is making life tougher for all of us. High visa costs are already leaving families without cash for essentials, living month to month just to save for a visa."

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