***Last updated 21st September 2023***

This article will continue to be updated as further details emerge. 


In July 2023, the government announced it would be making a broad range of increases to immigration fees.

These increases make grim reading for would-be migrants to the UK, not to mention those foreign nationals already here.  Depending on their route to settlement, the latter might find themselves paying the increased fees several times over, at rates far higher than they’d planned for.

We’ve outlined below what you could expect if you’re planning one of the more popular immigration applications in the near future. We hope you find this summary useful.

And remember you can always contact us to discuss this or any other immigration issue with our team of experts.


When are the increases happening?

The rise in immigration application fees will take effect on 4th October 2023.

An increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge is also set to take place. However at the time of writing, there is no firm date for this to come into effect – only an anticipated timescale of ‘late autumn’. And it could easily take much longer, as the legal process for making this change is different from that needed to increase the application fees.


Partner Visa

(also known as a family application, spouse visa, unmarried partner visa, fiancé(e) visa) 

Partner visa applications will be amongst those affected by the increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge. It is a significant increase as well – rising from £624 per year to £1,035 per year. For under-18s, the increase will be from £470 per year to £776 per year.

The first application fee, for entry clearance from overseas, is increasing from £1,538 to £1,846.

The fee for later applications for permission to stay in the UK (or for switching applications) will rise from £1,048 to £1,258. However, at the time of writing this particular fee is not scheduled to increase on 4th October 2023.

When we add in the increased Immigration Health Surcharge (for 2.5 years), you’re looking at nearly £4,951 in fees for a first partner visa from abroad, and around £3,845 in fees for in-country extension or switching  partner visas.

Applicants will normally pay for one first application and one subsequent application, for an anticipated total of £8,796.  That’s the new price tag for falling in love with a Brit.

And remember that your £8, 796 only gets you five years with your partner.  To stay longer, you’ll probably need to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and then citizenship, the extra costs of which are outlined later in this article.


Work and Sponsorship

For employers, sponsoring an overseas worker is already a significant investment. Applying for a Certificate of Sponsorship, which currently costs £199, will see a 20% fee increase to £239 after these changes take effect.

For workers, the cost of a Skilled Worker visa has always depended on the visa’s duration, and whether the applicant is overseas or already in the UK when they apply.

An example at the cheaper end is a Skilled Worker visa for (say) two years, applied for from overseas.  That would currently cost £625, plus the Immigration Health Surcharge at £624 per year, equals a total of £1,873.  After the fee increase, the same thing will cost £2,789 (as the new application fee will be £719 and the increased surcharge will be £1,035 per year).

And at the more expensive end, a Skilled Worker visa lasting five years, applied for from within the UK, currently costs £1,423.  After the fee increases it will cost £1,500.  Add to that the Immigration Health Surcharge for five years, and the total fees come to a staggering £6,675.

Applicants will admittedly pay less if they are coming to work in healthcare or a shortage occupation, but even these are seeing fee increases, as follows:

Applications fees for skilled workers under a Health and Care visa:

  • For 3 years or less (whether applying from outside or within the UK) – £247 rising to £284
  • For over 3 years (whether applying from outside or within the UK) – £479 rising to £551

Applications fees for skilled workers in a shortage occupation:

  • For 3 years or less (whether applying from outside or within the UK) – £479 rising to £551
  • For over 3 years (whether applying from outside or within the UK) – £943 rising to £1,084

To impose such financial deterrents on overseas workers seems senseless, especially as the government claims to be trying to attract global talent to the UK workforce.


Indefinite Leave to Remain / Settlement

The current application fee of £2,404 will be rising by 20%, to £2,885.


Citizenship / Naturalisation

The previous application fee of £1,250 will be rising by 20%, to £1,500.  For many, citizenship is the final costly step in a long and expensive immigration journey.


If you’re planning an immigration application, you might want to get it submitted before the fee increases hit.  Contact Truth Legal today to see how we can help. 

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Catherine Reynolds
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