Visa fees

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The request was successful.

Dear Home Office

I see you have made public indicative visa changes today:

Please provide information on:
1) The consultation undertaken leading to a rise in the visa fees, including i) how you ahve arrived at the proposed fee amounts ii) who was involved in the consultation iii) period of the consultation iv) reasons for the rate rise
2) what will impact whether the indicative rates are brought into force.



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Fees and Income Planning Requests, Home Office

Upon further consideration of your request, we have decided to handle your
enquiry under the normal rules of correspondence and not as a request for
information under FOI legislation: this does not affect the substance of
our response which is detailed below.


1) The consultation undertaken leading to a rise in the visa fees,

            i) how you have arrived at the proposed fee amounts


The fee amounts are required to secure the necessary funding for the
immigration system.  It is government policy that those who use and
benefit the most from the immigration system should contribute more to its
running costs, so that funding from general taxation may be reduced. In
setting fees we aim to strike a balance between generating income to
operate the immigration system and maintaining global competitiveness.


The amount charged for individual fees varies according to a number of
factors. These include the cost of providing the service, the value of the
benefits that a person may receive, the need for a contribution to the
cost of the wider immigration system, links to economic growth, and the
equivalent fees charged in other countries.


ii) who was involved in the consultation –


The process for reviewing and updating fees is subject to the
cross-government approval procedure. This procedure includes a formal
requirement that all fee levels are agreed collectively by the Home
Affairs Cabinet Committee that collectively represents thousands of
stakeholder and interest groups.  


In January 2014, the Home Office published the formal government response
to the consultation on how its charging strategy works in practice.  The
consultation set out proposals on how the Home Office planned to continue
to charge for visa and immigration services to reduce the financial burden
on the public purse. Notification of the consultation was also emailed to
more than 1,100 stakeholders registered with the Home Office as having a
particular interest in immigration, including businesses, education
providers and immigration advisors. Key interest groups  from professional
bodies, legal practitioners, education sector representatives, aviation
and hospitality trade associations and travel and retail groups were also
notified of the consultation.


Responses were broadly supportive of the proposals and the general
principles of charging. The full government response to the consultation
is published on the government consultation




            iii) period of the consultation –

The consultation ran for 3 weeks between 12/11/13 to 03/12/13


            iv) reasons for the rate rise

The Home Office aims to generate an appropriate contribution to its agreed
running costs from the income generated from visa, nationality and
immigration applications.  By doing this, the Home Office seeks to reduce
the financial obligation on the UK taxpayer to subsidise the immigration


2) what will impact whether the indicative rates are brought into force.

The intention is that indicative rates will be brought into force from the
6 April.  This is dependent on the necessary cross-government and
Parliamentary approval being secured.










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This doc may help users compare the unit costs to the fees.