Higher immigration fees proposed for nearly all services

5 Feb 14

UNITED KINGDOM

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? A new legislative proposal would hike government fees for visas, immigration services and premium services.

What does the change mean? If Parliament approves it (and based on past experience, it almost certainly will), the legislation will increase most fees by 4 percent beginning in April, while immigration fees for dependent family members will sharply increase by 38 percent. The legislation would also create new fees for some services, including Tier 1 and Tier 2 subcategories.

  • Implementation timeframe: If passed, the new fee schedule will take effect on April 6 (with the exception of the new fees for premium services, which would take effect on March 31).
  • Visas/permits affected: Virtually all visas and immigration services.
  • Who is affected: Companies and foreign nationals applying for U.K. immigration services.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: Increased government fees will impact business costs of hiring and assigning foreign workers in the U.K.
  • Next steps: The fee increases are in the proposal stage. BAL will report on the legislation as it develops.

Background: Minister for Immigration Mark Harper announced the changes on Feb. 3. Most fee increases in the points-based system and naturalization fees are limited to a 4 percent hike, but several new fees have been introduced in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 subcategories and many of the fees for dependent family members have jumped by over 38 percent.

For example, Intra-Company Transfers for long-term staff for over three years would have a new fee of £1,028 for the principal and each dependent (£1,202 if applying within the U.K.). Priority visa services would increase to £100 (non-settlement) and £300 (settlement) under the proposed changes. On the other hand, immigration fees will be reduced for foreign nationals in shortage occupations.

A full schedule of proposed fees can be viewed on this chart.

BAL Analysis: Companies should factor the government fee increases into business costs.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com.

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