United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced an increase in visa application fees paid by immigrants into the country.
In a statement on Friday, Sunak said the amount paid for the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) by visa applicants by immigrants would increase significantly.
Sunak explained that the increment was appropriate and justified as these fees have not been increased recently.
The PM asserted that this move would have no effect on inflation because there would be no new borrowing or spending to fund the increases.
He said: “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.
“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.
“All those fees will go up, and that will raise over £1 billion. So, across the board, visa application fees are going to go up significantly and similarly for the IHS.”
The announcement is coming a few weeks after the United States embassy said it is increasing fees for processing non-immigrant visa (NIV) applications.
The US embassy, according to a statement on its website, said the new fees for various visa categories will be implemented from June 17, 2023.