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03 March 2024

Costs of UK visas to increase this year

By Majorie van Leijen

A visa to the UK is expected to become more expensive from April this year, as fee increases have been proposed.
Whether it is a tourist, long-stay visa or application for naturalisation, all transactions related to entering the UK are set to become more expensive this year.
If the proposed increases are approved by UK Parliament, the rise in cost will be applicable from April 6, 2016.
The lowest price hike is for the tourist; where a short-stay visa currently costs £85 (Dh445.5) it will be priced £87 (Dh456), an increase of about Dh10.
Tier 2 immigrants will face an increase of their application and that of their dependents; the current fare is £651 (Dh3,412), and it will rise to £664 (Dh3,480).
Applications for the Tier 4 stream will rise from £439 (Dh2,300) to £448 (Dh2,348).
The steepest rise is in the application for indefinite leave to remain, or the application for permanent residency in the UK.
As the application fee currently stands at £1500 (Dh7,862), it will become £1875 (Dh9,827).
Moreover, application for British citizenship is also expected to rise from £925 (Dh4,848) to £1,156 (Dh6,059).
The ultimate goal of the price increase is to run a self-sufficient immigration system by 2020, where contributions from the applicant provide for the cost of the system, taking the weight of the local tax-payer.
Apart from the price increase several changes were made to the immigration policy in November last year.
Language requirement have toughened with new specifications of the English language test.
Entrepreneurs are now asked for additional documentation and restrictions regarding the fund sourcing for investors have been implemented.
On the positive side, the Tier 2 stream saw the addition of 4 digital technology jobs (product manager, data scientist, senior developer and cyber security specialist), and nurses to the shortage occupation list.