Home Office application costs are to jump significantly in less than three weeks.
The cost of visa and nationality applications will rise significantly at 9am on 4 October 2023, a newly published Home Office schedule reveals.
The hike, announced on 15 September, will affect the majority of applications made to UK Visas and Immigration, as well as many related services, such as priority processing charges, overseas visa centre fees and the cost of allocating a certificate of sponsorship.
The full list of increases can be read here, but among the headline figures are:
- A 20% increase in settlement application fees from £2,404 to £2,885
- A 15% increase in skilled worker application fees from £719 to £827 for applications made inside the UK, and from £625 to £719 for those made outside the UK (for visas lasting three years or less)
- A 20% increase in fees for naturalisation applications from £1,330 to £1,580
- A 25% increase in the cost of two-day super-priority processing inside the UK, up from £800 to £1,000
The government has also announced a 20% increase in applications to stay in the UK based on private or family life, up from £1,048 to £1,258. However, “technical” issues mean this rise will be introduced in two stages. Overstayers – “persons in the UK who are liable to immigration detention”, according to UKVI – will pay the higher fee from 4 October 2023. Everyone else currently subject to the £1,048 fee will see the increase at a later date, which the Home Office has yet to announce.
Oddly, the cost of using the priority service overseas for some family visa applications has dropped from £573 to £500 – but this is more than offset by the corresponding increase in the application fee itself, which has jumped 20% from £1,538 to £1,846.
Karma Hickman, associate in our Immigration, Asylum and Nationality team comments:
Unfortunately, there is no good news in today’s announcement. While the cost of some services will remain unchanged, the vast majority of migrants making applications to the Home Office will find themselves negatively affected by the announcement.
Worse yet, this is not the end of the increases. The Immigration Health Surcharge, already at shockingly high levels, is also set to rise further in coming months, the government has said.
The government warned of all these increases in general terms back in July, but the date and detail have only just been revealed. The date of the Immigration Health Surcharge hike remains unknown for now.
Applicants who can apply before 4 October 2023, are strongly advised to do so.