UK Home Office May Raise Immigration Fees to Pay for Border Security

Published: 07/02/2008

The UK Home Office announced at the end of January that they are initiating a major “shake-up” of the country’s immigration system that will allow Britain to make the most of the influx of immigrant talent whilst preventing abuses to the immigration system.

Amongst the new regulations are a series of increased fees for UK settlement visas. These increases would affect all UK marriage, partner and fiancee visas. Currently they are subject to review in both Houses of Parliament. The goal of these new regulations is to simultaneously strengthen UK borders, compel compliance with the immigration laws by people wishing to come to the UK and recover some of the cost of bolstering national security. The current application processing fee for a settlement visa is £500. The proposed new fee is £515, an increase of £15.

In addition to the new fees for the UK settlement visas a new Points Based System will be implemented as well to provide for a more secure border. Some of the measures in the new system include: electronic checks counting people coming into and out of the UK, fingerprinting of all visa applicants before they may enter Great Britain, and issuance of ID cards for all foreign nationals. Home Secretary Jaqui Smith says the new measures will “combat forced marriage,” and help assure that new immigrants to the UK will be entering the country with a serious commitment to be fully integrated into their communities and ready to work and participate as active members of society.

The UK Home Office has very specific rules and necessary paperwork that must be compiled and presented in order to apply for all kinds of spousal visas, including but not limited to the following: fiancée visa to the UK as well as those for partner visas, and marriage visas. There are also particular rules that apply to UK immigration for family members. All in all, the requirements and regulations pertaining to all UK settlement visas represent a veritable labyrinth of paperwork best handled by experts.

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