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Immigration Corner: How much more will we have to pay?

Published:Tuesday | February 9, 2016 | 2:00 AM

Dear Mr Bassie,

I understand that there will be some fee increases for applications for visitor visas to the United Kingdom. When are these due to take effect?

- HM

 

Dear HM,

There has been a recent announcement by the British authorities that there will be new visa, immigration and nationality application, and service fees. On January 11, 2016, the British government set out its proposed changes to the fees for visas, immigration and nationality applications and associated premium services for 2016-17.

The government advised that specific fee changes for 2016-17 will apply after further legislation is laid in Parliament by April of this year.

It has been announced that the new legislation will set maximum levels on the amounts for broad categories of fees that can be charged by the Home Office over the next four years. However, it should be noted that the Home Office has stated that there are no current plans to raise fees to the maximum levels.

The British authorities have stated that these proposed increases will allow the government to reduce taxpayer contributions towards the border, immigration and citizenship system. It is anticipated by the British government that by 2019-2020 the system will be self-funded by persons who use it.

The main changes are as follows: there will be small increases (2 per cent) for visit, study and work visas; fees for settlement, residence and nationality will increase by 25 per cent in 2016-17; and targeted increases have been applied to premium services, such as the priority visa service.

Please note that fees for all sponsorship categories will stay at the current rates. The new fees for applications can be found at the following website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-regulations-revised-table.

I hope this helps.

- John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email:lawbassie@yahoo.com