UK Raises Visa Fees and Health Surcharge for Nigerians and Other Nationalities

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak Implements Visa Fee and Health Surcharge Hike for Immigrants: Funding Public Sector Wages and Healthcare Initiatives

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made a significant announcement regarding an increase in visa application fees paid by immigrants. This decision follows his recent speech addressing a rise in public sector wages. Sunak confirmed that part of the funding for the wage increase would be sourced from foreign migrants who come to the United Kingdom to live and work, according to British media reports.

Additionally, Sunak revealed that the surcharge paid by visa applicants for the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) would also experience a substantial increase. Just a few weeks prior, during his visit to the United States embassy, the Prime Minister had expressed his intention to raise fees for processing non-immigrant visa applications (NIV).

The US embassy, in a statement on its website, confirmed that the new fees for various visa categories would be implemented from June 17, 2023. Sunak emphasized that these fee adjustments were necessary as they had not been increased recently.

Explaining his rationale, Sunak stated, “If we’re going to prioritize 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, as that would just exacerbate inflation.” He further added, “So, what we have done are two things to find this money. The first is, we are going to increase the charges for migrants who apply for visas to come to this country, as well as the immigration health surcharge (IHS), which is the levy they pay to access the NHS. All of those fees are going to go up significantly, raising over £1 billion. Therefore, visa application fees and the IHS will see considerable increases.”

Sunak clarified that this measure would have no impact on inflation since there would be no new borrowing or spending to fund the fee hikes. He emphasized that the government considered this move appropriate, considering the rise in costs since the last adjustment.

Taking to Twitter, Sunak shared, “I just announced a fair way to end the strikes – and already all teaching unions are backing it. It’s a fair deal for workers. And a fair deal for the British taxpayer. This is a major breakthrough for parents and families across the country.”

The implementation of these fee adjustments for visa applications and the immigration health surcharge signifies the government’s commitment to funding public sector wages and healthcare initiatives, while ensuring the financial sustainability of these essential services.