In the wake of the recent political turmoil that has engulfed the United Kingdom, the fees perceived for visas have spiked yet again as of the 6th of April of the current year.
The increase known in 2017 was taken as a bad omen and unfortunately, it actually gained momentum and transformed into the increase of this year (and the next, as it appears).
This is news and not news at the same time, considering that some visas have started to get more expensive since 2012.
What Changed and What Didn’t
When things go south, it is imperative that we indulge in a glass-half-full mentality, meaning that we have to look at the positive side of things, as difficult as that might be. Some fees have changed, sure, but others did not.
The fee for a dependent relative application, for example, has remained steady from the previous year, therefore it is still of just a little over £3,200. This is by no means a small figure, but as we shall see next, the situation could’ve been a lot worse.
In the same fashion, an application for the status of “refugee dependent relative” was decreased with a couple of points. At the moment speaking, an application for naturalization will cost you over £1,300.
The application for an indefinite leave to remain will punch a £2,300 in your budget. What you should know is that these prices do not include the health surcharge, which – brace yourselves – will most likely cost twice as much as it did in 2017 (i.e. £200).
More Bad News
As you might now, there are many types of visas. The bad news is that all of these are more expensive than in 2017. The price for an application for an indefinite leave to remain, for example, was increased with £92 from £2,297.
The price for a visit visa for less than 10 years grew with £31. An application for settlement was priced at £1,464 last year. In 2018, you will need to pay £1,523. If you have to apply for a representative of an overseas business, you’ll have to pay £610 from £587, as it cost last year.
These figures are all awful, but they’re not the worst part of this entire business. The worst part is that the Home Office spends a fraction of the fees it charges on processing the applications.
For the sake of illustrating this situation with an example: the expenditure of the Home Office for the processing of a citizenship registration is £264. Between 2016 and 2017, people were charged £936. That’s an astounding profit of £672, a sum that goes straight in the pocket of the Home Office.
Things haven’t changed at all and, in the light of the recent spiking in prices for visas and the adjacent documents, the Home Office is bound to make even more profit.
Those who applied for visas before April 6th are lucky. If you take a look here, you’ll see that visas are gradually more expensive because the maintenance costs of the entire immigration system are increasingly climbing. That makes sense, albeit it can’t cost so much.
This aspect, however, has no relation whatsoever to the processing costs of the visas. To make matters even worse, if your application has been rejected the first time, you’ll have to pay every time you submit a new application.
Reasons for the Increase
The main reason why visas have gotten so expensive is the huge wave of immigration caused by refugees from the East. The increase, thus, is meant as a measure of putting that fire off as much as possible.
Another reason – and a lot less pleasing than the first one – is mere profit. There’s no other way around it, so we ought to say it as we see it. There are two ways in which the Home Office makes a profit.
The first one is obviously by increasing the prices of a wide variety of visas and decreasing the ones for which there’s no large demand. The second one is by rejecting applications.
As mentioned previously, if your application gets rejected, you don’t get a refund. That money goes straight to the Home Office and no other 3rd parties. These practices raise the yearly profit of the Home Office to up to 800%.
This figure is sure to make the strongest men tremble in helplessness. There’s a 3rd reason that accounts for the increase of the visa prices: it’s been speculated that the UK is actually not that keen on foreign workers anymore.
The Brexit occurred for a reason. While we’re not dabbling in conspiracy theory, we are quite inclined to believe that the rumors and speculations have at least a kernel of truth.
The Reasoning of the Home Office
From the standpoint of the Home Office, these new prices are warranted by the future benefits that the ones who get their visas will reap. In other words, they guarantee the applicants that they’ll benefit a great deal from their visas.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth, obviously. There’s nothing that guarantees a fresh British citizen a formidable life since it all boils down to the individual’s skills, background and – let’s just go ahead and say it – luck.
You can check out the list with all the prices that have known an increase as of the 6th of April, 2018, right here. Get a good look at them and see if you can’t make do with a cheaper type of visa.
Sadly, we can’t end this article on a positive note. It’s true that some visas went down in terms of price, but that isn’t as much of a help as some people think. The prices will stay the same in both 2018 and 2019.
After that, we wouldn’t be surprised if they went up again. Since we can’t foresee the future, all we can do at the moment is to wait around and see where things go.