The UK Border Agency has announced that its new visa application fees are set to come into force on 6th April 2010.
The current system had been considered unfair in that visa application fees were quoted in pounds sterling yet paid in local currency. The new structure will ensure the equivalent cost is the same wherever the application is made.
The cost increases will apply to fiancée, marriage and partner visas, as well as other visa application categories, with the basic cost of a settlement visa increasing from £585 to £644.
The reason behind the increase has been attributed to the disparity between the current fees and the administrative costs of the service. UK Minister of State for Borders and Immigration Phil Woolas put forward the request to Parliament, with the proposed increases, in accordance with the department’s participation in Government reviews of its service.
Part of the proposal included Mr Woolas MP’s hopes to have those that most benefit from the immigration system should play their part in funding it, particularly highly-paid sports stars and entertainers that earn a great deal from playing or performing in the UK. Accordingly, a pilot ‘super-rich’ fast-track ‘premium service’ that costs £15,000 has been introduced.
For less famous applicants, the rise in fees will, thankfully, not be quite so steep, although with an additional 10% charged for each child and a doubling of fees for migrants applying to bring elderly parents to live with them from abroad, it will still make an impact.
Applicants will notice a slight increase in the Indefinite Leave to Remain application fee from £820 to £840, as well the settlement visa for a dependant relative fee increase from £585 to £1680.