In July the UK Government hinted at an immigration fee increase and this week they have confirmed that the substantial immigration fee rises will apply from 9am on 4th October 2023.
The Government announced a 15% increase in the cost of most work and visit visas, and an increase of at least 20% in the cost of priority visas, study visas and certificates of sponsorships.
The changes include:
- Fees for up to 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 year visit visas.
- The majority of fees for entry clearance and certain applications for leave to remain in the UK, including those for work and study.
- Fees for indefinite leave to enter and indefinite leave to remain.
- Convention travel document and stateless person’s travel document.
- Health and Care visa.
- Fees in relation to certificates of sponsorship and confirmation of acceptance for studies.
- The in and out of country fee for the super priority service and the out of country fee for the priority service. The settlement priority service will reduce so it is aligned with the cost of using the priority service.
- Applications to Register and Naturalise as a British Citizen.
- The fee for the User Pays Visa Application service.
The date that the Immigration Health Surcharge is due to rise is still unknown, however, the Home Office’s press release suggests this will be later in autumn 2023.
What can employers do to minimise the impact of the rises?
Employers who sponsor workers should consider taking the following actions:
- Review the sponsorship pipeline and submit applications for initial sponsorship, extension ahead of the fee rises wherever possible.
- Review Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocations and request increases
- Make any upcoming applications for “Skilled Worker”-defined CoS as soon as possible.
What are some of the headline application fee changes?
An example would be a Skilled Worker Visa entry clearance with CoS of three years or less (main applicant and each dependant) would be subjected to an increase of 15% meaning a rise from £625 to £719. While a Skilled Worker visa permission to stay with CoS of three years or less (main applicant and each dependant) would rise from £719 to £827.
See here for a full listing of amended fees.
The Synergy Immigration Solutions website can be found at www.synergyimmigrationsolutions.com