Starting 4th October, the UK government has implemented a visa fee hike affecting travellers worldwide, including Indians. For visits to the United Kingdom lasting under six months, the cost of a visit visa has increased by GBP 15, approximately Rs. 1,500. Similarly, student visas are now GBP 127 (around Rs. 12,750) more expensive.
According to the UK Home Office, the revised fees for visit visas of less than six months now stand at GBP 115, roughly Rs. 11,500, and student visa applications from outside the UK will cost GBP 490, approximately Rs. 50,000.
The updated fee structure, applicable from October 4, covers various visa categories. This includes fees for visit visas ranging from 6 months to 10 years, most entry clearance fees, applications for work and study permits, indefinite leave to enter and remain, health and care visas, fees related to certificates of sponsorship and confirmation of acceptance for studies, as well as applications for British Citizenship through registration and naturalisation.
A spokesperson from the Home Office stated that the increase in visa application fees is necessary to fund essential public services and contribute to public sector pay. Starting from October 4, the cost of family, settlement, and citizenship visas will rise by 20%, while work and visit visas will see a 15% increase.
Additionally, the immigration health surcharge (IHS) has been raised to GBP 1,035 annually. The student visa fee now stands at GBP 490, but there will be no fee hike for short-term courses where students study English for more than 6 months but less than 11 months, as per the UK government’s announcement.
Visa fees for skilled workers in the United Kingdom have been revised based on the duration of the issued certificate of sponsorship. For skilled workers with sponsorship certificates valid for three years or less, the visa fee is GBP 719, approximately Rs. 65,000. However, if the certificate of sponsorship is issued for more than three years, the immigration fee increases to GBP 1,420, roughly Rs. 129,000.
Additionally, skilled workers in shortage occupations face adjusted visa charges. If the certificate of sponsorship is for three years or less, the immigration fee is GBP 551, approximately Rs. 50,351. For certificates of sponsorship exceeding three years, the fee rises to GBP 1,084, approximately Rs. 99,125. It’s important to note that individuals applying for visas, stay permissions, or citizenship in the UK are required to pay the applicable fees.