UK Visa Fees for Indians Set to Rise: Here’s the Increased Amount You’ll Need to Pay
According to reports, the UK visa fees are expected to undergo a significant increase of approximately 15% to 20%, although official confirmation is yet to be provided. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently announced that fees and health surcharges paid by visa applicants, including Indians, to the National Health Service (NHS) will see a substantial rise.
The purpose of this fee hike, as stated by Rishi Sunak, is to support the wage increase in the UK’s public sector, which encompasses teachers, police personnel, junior doctors, and other public workers. He explained that there has been a general increase of 5% to 7% across the board. To cover these costs, the UK government aims to avoid relying on increased borrowing due to concerns about inflation.
Rishi Sunak emphasized, “If we’re going to prioritize paying public sector workers more, that money has to come from somewhere else because I’m not prepared to raise people’s taxes, and I don’t think it would be responsible or appropriate to borrow more as it would exacerbate inflation.”
He further explained the measures taken to generate the necessary funds, stating, “So, what we have done are two things to find this money. The first is, we are going to increase the charges that we have for migrants who are coming to this country when they apply for visas and indeed something called the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is the levy that they pay to access the NHS.”
Rishi Sunak highlighted that all visa application fees, as well as the Immigration Health Surcharge, will see significant increases, resulting in generating over GBP 1 billion in revenue.
To clarify the current payment requirements, the government has confirmed that work and visa fees will rise by 15%, while all other visa fees will increase by a minimum of 20%. The Immigration Health Surcharge was initially introduced in 2015 at £200 per application. It doubled to £400 in 2018 and rose to £624 in 2020.
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