In a recent announcement, the UK Home Office has revealed substantial increases in visa fees, affecting both visitors and students, set to take effect on October 4, 2023. These changes come as part of the government’s efforts to bolster essential services and allocate more funding towards public sector pay raises.
Visitor Visa Fees Surge by 667%
Starting from October 4, the cost of a visit visa to the United Kingdom for stays of less than six months will rise to £115, which amounts to approximately N111,878.28 in Nigerian Naira. This represents a staggering 667% increase from the previous fee of £15 (approximately N14,592.70).
Student Visa Costs See a 286% Increase
Equally significant, student visa fees will see a substantial hike, climbing from £127 (approximately N123,537.58) to £490 (approximately N476,677.59), marking a 286% increase. This move has been justified by the government as necessary to secure vital services and allocate more resources for public sector salary adjustments.
The UK government’s official statement, titled “New Visa Fees Set to Come into Effect Next Month,” was published on its website, gov.uk, on Friday, following the laying of legislation in parliament on the same day.
These alterations encompass fees for various visa types, including visit visas for up to six months, two, five, and ten years. Furthermore, fees related to entry clearance, applications for leave to remain (including work and study permits), indefinite leave to enter and remain, convention travel documents, stateless person’s travel documents, health and care visas, certificates of sponsorship, confirmation of acceptance for studies, and various service fees are also set to increase.
The statement emphasizes the importance of fees in sustaining the Home Office’s immigration and nationality system, aiming to minimize the financial burden on British taxpayers while maintaining an attractive immigration service for those wishing to work and contribute to the UK’s prosperity.
It’s worth noting that the settlement priority service will see an adjustment to align with the cost of using the priority service. Furthermore, applications for British citizenship registration and naturalization and the User Pays Visa Application service fee will also be subject to increases.
However, the announcement highlights that these changes are subject to parliamentary approval and exclude the planned increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge, set to be introduced later in the Autumn.
These visa fee adjustments represent a significant policy shift in the UK’s immigration landscape, potentially impacting individuals planning to visit or study in the country, with the changes slated to commence from October 4, 2023.