The United Kingdom’s authorities have announced an increase in fees for student visas and visit permits that will take effect next month.
The charge for applying for a study visa from outside the UK will rise by 127 GBP beginning October 4. The UK Home Office estimates that the fee for applying for a student visa would be 490 GBP, the same as the rate for in-country applications.
The Home Office announced that the cost will be increased on October 4, subject to Parliamentary approval, creating anxiousness among prospective students.
The government has also announced an increase in the visit visa charge, and according to the details available, the fee for a UK Visit Visa for less than six months will be increased by 15 GBP; the fee will be £115 beginning next month.
‘Today’s amendments do not include the proposed increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is set to take effect later this autumn,’ the ministry added.
The announcement comes months after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that visa applicants’ fees and health surcharges for the UK’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS) would climb “significantly” to meet the country’s public sector salary hike.
Following a separate investigation of remuneration for various occupations, the British Prime Minister has been under intense scrutiny. In July, the premier announced a 5% to 7% increase across the board, but just to bridge the gap, emphasising that extra financing would not be met with increased government borrowing, and the weight would have to be passed elsewhere.
“If we’re going to prioritise paying public sector workers more, that money has to come from somewhere else,” Sunak said at a Downing Street press conference. “I’m not prepared to raise people’s taxes, and I don’t think it would be responsible or right to borrow more because that would just make inflation worse.”
“So, in order to find this money, we did two things. The first is that we are going to raise the fees that we charge migrants who come to this country when they apply for visas, as well as the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is a cost that they pay to access the NHS’, he said.
“All of those fees are going up, and that will raise over GBP 1 billion, so visa application fees are going to go up significantly across the board, and similarly for the IHS,” he continued.
Sunak justified the rise, saying it was “completely appropriate” because the fees had not been raised in a long time. He believes the government believes it is appropriate considering the surge in costs since the last increase.
The move coincides with the demands of junior doctors in England, who began a five-day strike on Thursday after their proposals for a 35% salary increase were denied.