The United Kingdom’s Home Office recently announced significant increases in visa fees, with a notable rise in the cost of Student and Visitor visas. Starting from October 4, 2023, the Student visa fee will see a substantial increase of 286 percent, climbing from £127 to £490 (equivalent to N476,677.59). Simultaneously, the fee for a Visitor visa for stays of less than six months will surge by a staggering 667 percent, soaring from £15 to £115 (about N111,878.28).
The UK government conveyed this information through an official statement titled ‘New Visa Fees Set to Come into Effect Next Month,’ published on its website, gov.uk. This adjustment in fees is in response to legislative changes laid in parliament.
The government clarified that the fee adjustments are intended to help cover the cost of essential services and allocate more funding for public sector pay increases. These changes will officially take effect on October 4.
The statement explained, “The changes mean that the cost for a visit visa for less than six months is rising by £15 (N14,592.70) to £115 (N111,878.28), while the fee for applying for a student visa from outside the UK will rise by £127 (N123,537.58) to £490 (N476,677.59), to equal the amount charged for in-country applications.”
Income generated from visa fees plays a crucial role in sustaining the Home Office’s immigration and nationality system. The government stated that careful consideration is given when setting fees to minimize the financial burden on British taxpayers while ensuring that the services remain attractive to those interested in working or studying in the UK.
These fee adjustments apply to various visa categories, including visit visas of different durations, entry clearance, applications for leave to remain, work and study visas, indefinite leave to enter and remain, health and care visas, certificates of sponsorship, confirmation of acceptance for studies, super-priority service fees, and more.
The statement highlighted that settlement priority service fees would be aligned with the cost of using the priority service. Additionally, fees for applications related to British citizenship, including registration and naturalization, as well as the User Pays Visa Application service, have also been increased.
It’s important to note that these changes are subject to parliamentary approval and do not include the planned increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge, scheduled to be introduced later in the Autumn.