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When more is less: Visa and Immigration Health Surcharge fee increases

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During a Parliamentary debate on 13 July 2023, Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen announced increases in visa fees, as follows:

  • Work visas – 15% increase
  • Certificate of Sponsorship fee (currently £199) – increase of at least 20%
  • Priority fees – increase of at least 20% and the same fee will apply for applications made inside or outside the UK. Currently the priority service for non-settlement visas is £250 when applying from outside the UK and £500 when applying from inside the UK.
  • Visit visas – 15% increase
  • Other entry clearance and leave to remain applications – increase of at least 20%
  • Settlement (‘indefinite leave to remain’) – increase of at least 20%
  • Citizenship – increase of at least 20%

The Government also proposes to increase the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). The IHS is currently £624 per year of visa duration for most adults and £470 per year of visa duration for Student visa applicants and children. The Government proposes to increase the IHS to £1,035 per year of visa duration for adults, and £776 per year of visa duration for Students and children.

We do not yet have information on when the visa and IHS fee increases will come into effect. Sign up to receive immigration updates by email to remain informed.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury stated that the increase in the IHS was ‘to ensure that it covers the full healthcare costs of those who pay it.’ However, research reflects that migrants are generally healthier than the UK-born population and that they access health services less.

Together with the restrictions on Students switching to work routes, the proposed visa increases will undercut UK businesses in the global competition for talent.

Please note that the information presented here should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you would like to instruct us to provide legal advice, please get in touch.

Publication Date: 21/07/2023

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Author avatar
Samar Shams
Managing Partner @ Changes Immigration
samar.shams@changesimmigration.com
+44 (0) 7591 385033