The British government has recently announced a proposed hike in visa fees for visitors and students, effective October 4. The rise applies to travellers around the world, including Indians, making UK visit visas more costly and UK student visas ã127 more expensive.

The proposed legislation, tabled in Parliament on September 24, outlined the changes to visa costs from the UK Home Office. A visit visa for less than six months will now cost ã115, an increase of ã15.

Students applying for visas from outside the UK will need to fork out ã490, aligning in-country and international application fees.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced in July that visa charges, coupled with additional health surcharges, are set to rise to meet the country's public sector wage increase.

He said, "We are going to increase the charges for migrants coming to this country when applying for visas and the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)...this will raise over GBP 1 billion."

The Home Office pointed out a broad 15 percent increase in the cost of most work and visit visas and an increase of at least 20 percent

in the cost of priority visas, study visas and certificates of sponsorship.

Commenting on the expected revenue from the visa fee hike, the Home Office revealed, "Income from fees charged plays a vital role in our ability to run a sustainable immigration and nationality system."

They further stressed the fees' crucial role in maintaining attractive servi?es without burdening the British taxpayers.

The increased fees apply across most visa categories, including health and care visas, applications to register and naturalise as a British citizen, as well as fees for up to six months, two, five and 10-year visit visas.

This hike is also valid for most fees for entry clearance and certain applications for leave to remain in the UK, including work and study visas. Even the fees for indefinite leave to enter, remain and sponsor-related fees will also see a rise.

Subject to parliamentary approval, these changes will begin on October 4. While visa applicants acknowledge the necessity of funding public services, the fee hikes make visiting, studying, or settling in the UK significantly more costly.
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