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Home Office Announces New Visa Fees For 2016/17

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The UK Government has announced that some UK Immigration visa fees will increase in 2016/17. Applicants who will be affected the most are those applying for family and Spouse Visas, and naturalisation.

Examples of the increases in fees include:

  • Family and Spouse Visas are to increase to £1,195, with a maximum fee of £3,250, up from £2,141
  • The fee for a settlement application will increase to £1,875
  • The fee for an Adult Dependent Relative settlement application will increase to £2,6765
  • British citizen naturalisation fees for adults will increase to £1,156
  • Child registration fees will increase to £936,
  • In-country applications for an Entrepreneur Visa will increase from £1,093 to £1,500
  • In-country applications for an Investor Visa will go from £1,093 to £1,500

Some visas will not be impacted by such large increases, (in some cases up to 25%). For example:

  • The fee for a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence for a multi-national company remains the at £1,476
  • Most visitor, study and work visas will only increase by 2%

Interestingly, a new two-year visit visa for Chinese nationals is being introduced for only £85. This is a clear indication that the UK Government wants to strengthen its relationship with China, following the successful state visit in 2015 by the Chinese President, Xi Jinping.

The Motivation Behind the Increase in Immigration Fees

In a press release, UK Visa and Immigration stated that the increases in fees would allow the Home Office to reduce taxpayer contributions towards the border, Immigration and citizenship system and ensure that by 2019–2020 the system is self-funded by those who use it.

This move towards self-funding is in alliance with moves by many European nations who are seeking to find ways to reduce the financial burden of the migrant crisis. For example, this week, the Danish Parliament announced it had secured a parliamentary majority for a controversial plan to seize migrants' valuables to pay for their stay in Asylum centres.

However, it must be noted that the harshest fee increases have been directed towards visas designed to allow family members of a person settled in the UK to enter the country. This indicates that family migration, rather than business migration, is the area of Immigration that David Cameron’s Government wants to reduce.

If you wish to find out more information regarding the proposed increases in fees, please phone our London office on 0207 936 9960. OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best Immigration law firms in the UK and have a proven track record of assisting both private and commercial clients with their Immigration matters.

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