The immigration and nationality application fees have gone up. The new immigration fees were introduced on 6th April 2011 for foreign nationals applying to visit, study, work or settle in the UK, and for employers and education providers applying for a sponsor licence.
This follows Parliamentary approval to proposal to increase immigration and nationality application fees.
The new fees were announced on 28th February by Immigration Minister Damian Green.
“If you are making an application on or after 6 April 2011, please ensure that you enclose the correct fee. We will return any applications where an incorrect fee is paid,” the UK Border Agency said.
“Under the current spending review,” the UKBA said, “the Home Office is implementing a real terms reduction in budgets of up to a 20 per cent. The UK Border Agency is already seeking to offset this income gap with efficiency savings of approximately £500 million by reducing support costs, increasing efficiencies, boosting productivity and improving value for money from commercial suppliers.”
The UK Border Agency said that the new measures will not go far enough, and to address the funding shortfall they’ll need to increase fees for financial year 2011/12.
The Agency is convinced that the proposals to increase fees continue to strike the right balance between maintaining secure and effective border controls and ensuring that the fees structure does not inhibit the UK’s ability to attract migrants and visitors that make a valued contribution.
“This will help to support the immigration system, maintain public confidence and ensure that migration is managed for the benefit of the UK.”
The UKBA further said that they charge fees to ensure that they raise the money needed “to run a strong, robust immigration system and to offer a world-class level of service. We set our fees at levels that are fair to our customers.”