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Business News/ News / World/  UK visa fee likely to increase by 20% soon: How to avoid paying hiked charges
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UK visa fee likely to increase by 20% soon: How to avoid paying hiked charges

The UK government is expected to increase charges for work permits and visas by 20% by 2024. Experts advise individuals planning to emigrate for work to act promptly to avoid higher fees. The new pricing structure will also see a significant increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge.

The UK government is expected to increase charges for work permits and visas by 2024 (AFP)Premium
The UK government is expected to increase charges for work permits and visas by 2024 (AFP)

The UK government is expected to increase charges for work permits and visas by 2024 and experts cites that the hike would be around 20%. Though the new measure is not yet implemented, experts advise individuals planning to emigrate for work to act promptly. Those with job offers or in discussions with UK employers should finalise their plans quickly to avoid higher fees.

Yash Dubal, director of London-based immigration firm A Y & J Solicitors said, “We expect these changes in fees to come into effect imminently as there is a political will in the UK to show action on immigration and a General Election next year. The current government wants to show voters that they are being tough on immigration while providing funds for the NHS. This policy covers both aims."

“Normally immigration fee changes go before Parliament at least 21 days before they take effect. However, there is an urgent political will by this government to change the immigration system before the General Election to allay the misconceived fears of some voters that migrants are not net contributors. For this reason, policy changes can tend to be pushed through quickly, and so we would advise anyone in India with pending applications for a visa to submit them soon as possible."

How much will you have to pay after the hike?

The UK is set to introduce a new pricing structure for visas, with work and visit visa fees increasing by 15% and other visa types facing a minimum 20% hike. Additionally, the controversial Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), paid by migrants for healthcare, will surge from £624 to £1,035 per year for adults and from £470 to £776 for children. 

This sharp increase is concerning. For instance, Skilled Worker visa holders bringing a partner and child would see their three-year visa cost rise from £7,029 to £10,695. 

There are also speculations about a potential increase in the Immigration Skills Charge, but no official confirmation has been given yet.

Also, The salary threshold for UK Shortage Occupations List jobs, like web designers and residential day care managers, is 80% of the going rate, resulting in migrant salaries being 20% lower. The increased costs of fees could discourage some applicants from taking lower salaried positions, as they may find it financially challenging to meet the requirements for the visa.

Mr Dubal said: “The impact of the rises may deter some migrants from taking lower salaried jobs as the rise in fees combined with low wages could make the work financially unfeasible."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sanchari Ghosh
Sanchari Ghosh is a Chief Content Producer with LiveMint. She covers news, human interest, epidemiology and personal finance stories
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Published: 27 Jul 2023, 01:43 PM IST
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