United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has revealed plans to increase the visa application fee paid by immigrants. He also stated that the surcharge paid by visa applicants for the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) would see a significant increase.

This announcement comes shortly after the United States embassy announced its own fee increases for processing non-immigrant visa (NIV) applications. The new fees for various visa categories in the US went into effect on June 17, 2023, as stated on the embassy’s website.

Sunak said: “If we’re going to prioritise paying public sector workers more, that money has to come from somewhere else because I’m not prepared to put up people’s taxes and I don’t think it would be responsible or right to borrow more because that would just make inflation worse.

“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.

“All of those fees are going to go up and that will raise over £1 billion. So, across the board visa application fees are going to go up significantly and similarly for the IHS.”

He said the move would have no effect on inflation because there would be no new borrowing or spending to fund the increases.

Tweeting, he said: “I just announced a fair way to end the strikes – and already all teaching unions are backing it. It’s a fair deal for workers. And a fair deal for the British taxpayer. This is a major breakthrough for parents and families across the country.”

The decision by the UK government to raise visa application fees and the NHS surcharge highlights the ongoing adjustments in immigration policies and procedures in both countries. These changes may have implications for immigrants seeking to enter or reside in the UK and the US, as they are now expected to pay higher fees for their visa applications and healthcare contributions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *