The UK government has recently (February 2014) announced proposed changes to visa/immigration application fees.
Though the fee changes are yet to be approved by the UK Parliament, if approved, it will come into effect in April 2014.
The proposals increase most fees by 4 percent, including the short-term visit visa.
The UK Home Office Border Agency says other specific increases are being proposed so as to limit wider general increases. The increases, they say, will allow them to improve customer service, and offer new optional premium services, such as:
- a 3-5 day priority visa service costing £100;
- a priority settlement application service for a fee of £300;
- a super priority visa service for £600, which will expedite the application process to the shortest period possible;
- appointments outside of office hours for a fee of £50; and
- offering a passport passback service at more locations, which will be charged at £40 per applicant.
The proposals also contain a number of fee reductions and changes, including:
- reducing the fee for direct airside transit visa to £40;
- reducing sponsorship fees for Tier 2 large sponsor licenses and sponsor action plans, and freezing a number of other sponsorship fees;
- introducing a Tier 2 shortage occupations fee of £428 for applicants both overseas and in the UK;
- introducing a new 5 year Tier 2 general/ICT application; and
- changing the discount for nationals of countries that have ratified the 1961 European Social Charter to a flat rate of £55.
(UK Border Agency).