The UK government is anticipated to raise fees for work permits and visas by 2024, with experts predicting an approximate 20% increase. Even though the new policy has not taken effect yet, experts strongly recommend that individuals intending to emigrate for work should take swift action. Those who have received job offers or are in talks with UK employers should expedite their plans to avoid the higher charges.

“We anticipate these fee changes to be implemented very soon, given the UK’s political determination to take action on immigration and the upcoming General Election next year. The current government aims to demonstrate its firm stance on immigration while also generating funds for the NHS. This policy effectively addresses both objectives.”

Yash Dubal – The Director of the London-based Immigration Firm A Y & J Solicitors

“Normally, the government presents immigration fee adjustments to Parliament at least 21 days before their implementation. However, the current government’s urgent political agenda to reform the immigration system before the General Election and address certain voters’ unfounded concerns about migrants’ contributions could expedite policy changes. Consequently, we strongly recommend individuals in India with pending visa applications submit them as soon as possible.”

Pricing Framework for UK Visa Fee

The UK is preparing to implement a new pricing framework for visas, leading to a 15% rise in fees for work and visit visas, while other visa categories will experience a minimum increase of 20%. Furthermore, the contentious Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), paid by migrants to access healthcare, will see a significant surge, escalating from £624 to £1,035 per year for adults and from £470 to £776 for children.

Indeed, this substantial increase is worrisome. For example, individuals holding Skilled Worker visas who wish to bring their partner and child would witness their three-year visa expenses surge from £7,029 to £10,695.

Additionally, there are speculations regarding a potential increase in the Immigration Skills Charge, although no official confirmation has been provided as of yet.

Furthermore, it’s essential to note that jobs listed under the UK Shortage Occupations List, such as web designers and residential daycare managers, have a salary threshold set at 80% of the going rate. As a result, migrant workers in these positions may receive salaries 20% lower than their counterparts. The projected increase in visa fees might discourage some applicants from pursuing lower-salaried positions since meeting the visa requirements could prove financially challenging for them.

Mr Dubal expressed his concern, stating, “The increase in fees may discourage some migrants from accepting lower-salaried jobs, as the combination of higher fees and lower wages could render such employment financially unfeasible.”