London: The UK government's plan to raise visa fees will come into effect on Wednesday, making it more expensive for people around the world to visit the UK.
The UK Home Office said that the fee for applying for a student visa from outside the country will rise by 127 pounds to 490 pounds, to equal the amount charged for in-country applications.
Changes have also been made to the cost for a visit visa for less than six months, which is rising by 15 pounds to 115 pounds.
Subject to Parliamentary approval, the immigration and nationality fees will increase from October 4, the Home Office announced.
The government said that changes to immigration and nationality fees have been done to pay for vital services and allow more funding to be prioritised for public sector pay rises.
Also increased were the fees for indefinite leave to enter and indefinite leave to remain; convention travel document and stateless person’s travel document; health and care visa; fees in relation to certificates of sponsorship and confirmation of acceptance for studies; the in and out of country fee for the super-priority service and the out of country fee for the priority service.
The changes do not include the planned increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which are scheduled to be introduced later in the Autumn.
The IHS was first introduced in 2015 at 200 pounds per application. It doubled to 400 pounds in 2018 and rose to 624 pounds in 2020.
In July, the government announced a 15 per cent increase in the cost of most work and visit visas, and an increase of at least 20 per cent in the cost of priority visas, study visas and certificates of sponsorship.
"Income from fees charged plays a vital role in the Home Office’s ability to run a sustainable immigration and nationality system," a Home Office statement read.
"Careful consideration is given when setting fees to help reduce the funding contribution from British taxpayers, whilst continuing to provide a service that remains attractive to those wishing to work in the UK and support broader prosperity for all," the statement added.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative government has been under intense pressure over the public sector pay, which has resulted in a series of strikes over the past year hitting schools and hospitals.