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Increases to a range of immigration and nationality fees are set to come into effect on 4 October 2023 following legislation laid in Parliament on 15 September. These increases were announced earlier in the summer as being necessary to fund public sector pay rises. The headline increase in Immigration Health Surcharge from £624 to £1,035 per year will be introduced later in the autumn as this is subject to a different parliamentary approval process.
These changes include a 15 percent increase to most visit and work visa routes. The cost of indefinite leave to remain applications has increased by £481. Certificate of Sponsorship fees have increased by £40 having previously not increased since 2016. Not all fees have increased and in one case (priority service for out of country settlement applications), the fee has actually decreased by £73 to be brought in line with non-settlement applications.
Given that visa fees were already very expensive to begin with, these increases will not be welcome news for migrants and their employers. This will be particularly the case for migrants that are at a lower salary level, which can be the case in certain industries like hospitality and manufacturing. However, the increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge, which is due to take effect later in the autumn, will have a bigger impact on the cost for most applications than the increased application fees. This might be a reason for migrants and employers to consider submitting upcoming applications sooner rather than later to avoid the increase in costs.
This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Please contact our Business Immigration Team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.