25 July 2023
The government has announced that immigration fees will increase for most UK visa applications with the aim of raising £1 billion to fund public sector pay increases. The cost of applying for UK family visas, including entry clearance and leave to remain applications (FLR), indefinite leave to remain (ILR) and citizenship will rise by at least 15 – 20%. The mandatory NHS surcharge will increase from £624 to £1,035 per year for adult applicants and from £470 to £776 per year for dependent children. The cost of optional UKVI priority services, including fast track applications, purchased outside and inside the UK will also be reviewed. It is unclear at this stage when the fee increase will come into effect.
The Parliament will review the required regulations to implement the increases in the coming weeks, with immigration fee increases most likely taking effect in autumn 2023. We encourage our clients to submit their UK partner, fiancée or spouse visa applications as soon as possible to avoid paying a higher fee. Once an online visa application has been submitted and paid for, the UKVI cannot retrospectively force applicants to pay a new fee that had not been set at the time of submission. Therefore, it is important to submit an online application on the official Home Office website before the increase. Applicants in the UK are given additional 60 days to provide all the necessary supporting documents and attend a biometrics appointment at their local UKVCAS application support centre.