UK To Increase Visa and Healthcare Fees

UK To Increase Visa and Healthcare Fees

The United Kingdom is set to increase the visa and health care fee for applicants from across the world due to public sector wage increases in the country.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed on 13 July that those who intend to visit the country will now have to pay more.

The price hike comes as the Prime Minister has been under immense pressure following an independent review of pay for different professionals. Mr. Sunak confirmed a hike between 5 and 7 per cent across the board but to bridge the gap, Sunak stressed that additional funding would not be met with higher government borrowing and the burden would have to be shifted somewhere else. 

Mr. Sunak stated that part of the funding for the public sector wage increase will be financed using the money raised from foreign migrants who wish to live and work in the UK.

“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,” Sunak told reporters at a Downing Street press conference.

“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,” he said.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Sunak justified the increase and said this was “entirely right” as these fees have not been increased recently.

Though the hike has been confirmed, full details of which categories of visas will face a hike and when the new higher rates would be charged would be announced by the UK Home Office in the coming months.

UK Visa Fees

The visa fees a migrant pays depend on the type of visa they are after, including the length of time, the main purpose of their visit, the number of entries into the country they want, the industry they work in, and more.

According to the Prime Minister, UK work and visa fees will be increased by 15 per cent, and that all other visa fees are set to rise by a minimum of 20 per cent.

For now, it is unclear when the new fees will be formally introduced.

As of December 2020, the immigration health surcharge is £624 per adult applicant, and £470 per discounted applicant, which covers children and students. With the set increase, it will now cost £1,035 per person, per annum.

Those who are eligible for a discount will have to pay £776, which equates to a 66 percent increase.

Immigrating to a new country involves a complex decision-making process influenced by various factors. Among these considerations, the cost of acquiring an immigration visa holds significant importance. 

What are your thoughts on this issue? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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