United Kingdom Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has announced plans to increase UK visa charges for migrants.
The UK Prime Minister said on Thursday, July 13 that the upward review will also affect the levy to access the National Health Service (NHS).
In addition, Britain’s PM explained that the increase will affect migrants from all over the world.
The fees are set to rise to meet the country’s surging public sector wage bill.
“What we have done are two things to find this money. 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 surge which is the levy that they pay to access the NHS,” the Prime Minister said.
This comes after the British leader, was under pressure to accept the recommendation of an independent review of pay for public sector workers including teachers, police, junior doctors.
Moreover, the United Kingdom receives millions of visa applications annually.
According to government data, “there were about 118 million passenger arrivals from outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) in the year ending March 2023.”
Comparatively the country received about 43 million in the same period in 2022, because of travel restrictions.
From 6, April 2022, the UK visa for main students and dependents was 363 euros.
On the other hand, charges for visit visa for up to 6 months were 100 euros.
However, it is important to note that the charges vary depending on the period of visit and reason for visit.
According to the PM, the new levies are to go up by 5% and 7% for the Visa and NHS respectively.
“Neither of the visa fee or the NHS charges has increased recently, and we think it is appropriate as the cost for everything has gone up,” the PM said.
Besides, the government is yet to announce exact dates when the changes will take effect as Sunak hopes to raise money to fund the public wage bill.
What’s more, immigration rules under post-Brexit eased restrictions for those seeking to work and study in the UK.
The regulations came into force from January 2021. The system allows those willing to live and work in the UK to attain 70 points.
Equally important, metrics for points include having a job offer, holding PhD relevant to the job, speaking English and earning more than 22,000 euros annually.
The upward review of visa charges will definitely dent the hopes for thousands of Kenyans hoping to move to the UK.