22.3.07

UK Visa price hike

Sadly, from the 1st of April, the Home Office is hiking the price of visas to the UK, to reflect the 'cost' in processing the applications.

An application for Indefinite leave to remain will now cost £750 (from £335), and £950 (from £500) if you want a same day service. Naturalization is going to £575 from £200. See all the new fees here.

This may not affect everyone in the UK directly, however, as a foreigner who has decided to make his home here, I find it very annoying that the UK government chooses to milk foreigners for every penny they're worth. Even the old fees were seen as extortionate, but now, they are raised the fees so high, that most people will have to save for months, or borrow money to make these applications. The excuse is that this is how much it costs for processing these applications. RUBBISH. When I applied for my resident's permit in 2005, it took all of 5 minutes, and cost me £500. So let's pretend the visa cost £350, the office space is costing £100 to rent for 5 minutes, and the person who took the application is getting paid the remaining £50 for her work. That equates to £600 an hour. I want that job.

Anyway, there is a petition on the Prime Minister's website about this. If you have a heart, please sign.

7 comments:

  1. Do petitions really work? All the petitions I've signed have done nothing.

    In the meantime, watch it get worse. These people don't really want us here. You need to hear some of the sentiments I listen to on LBC everyday...

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  2. I thought the Right to Abode VISA was extortionate at its previous price tage. I went to Croydon with MrO to get his and was open mouthed in shock alot of the time. I'm glad I went though as it was a big learning experience. My only comment would be that I wish the Nigerian embassy was half so organised in its setup; I would actually be willing to pay more for my VISA for a less rough embassy experience!

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  3. hey bro..you know how I feel about this..hell the last time we spoke..this was our topic of conversation..There is no justification for the fee to begin with let alone the price hike!!! I believe the UK government is rising fees so as to stop people from applying..it sure will deter a few...but the justification given is absolutely ridiculous..When I last went to transfer my visa to the new passport which cost me £500 for going in person, I did ask the person at the counter..how could he sit there and justify the fee??He simply answered that it cost to scan and print my photograph onto the visa to which I responded
    "Sorry Sir, but unless you are using technology thats literally out of this world while producing nothing spectacular, this is just a form of taxation on foreigners"..to which he smiled...which I returned in kind while thinking not his fault-but what a twat!!

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  4. Chxta: If you look at the site, it's still in 'beta', it's all a big experiment, but there was a lot of media coverage for the petition against road pricing, and I was one of the million people who got an email from Tony Blair when that closed.

    Katharine: The fees have skyrocketed recently. When I first came to the UK in 2001, it was free. Yes, they are organised, but back then, it was a big mess, I remember queuing in the snow in Liverpool for hours to renew my student visa in 2003. Since they started charging, it has become a bit more organised, but I'm not sure how the money they are collecting reflects the costs in issuing the visas.

    sppadic: It's a joke, isn't it? Now, that would cost you £950. Just to transfer a visa from an expired passport to another? I'm guessing the money is to deter people from applying, but if you have to apply, you have to apply. And that means you'll need to get that money from somewhere !!

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  5. Its preety extortionate - milking money from us foreigners as usual. Look at what happened to the road pricing petition - just an email in reply and the scheme is still going on as planned.

    Why havent we heard about this exhorbitant increase from the press?

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  6. This is an absolutely outrageous and totally unjustified and unfair price hike. This is the Labour government in a nutshell. Spineless worms that tax innocent people to the hilt on the sly.

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  7. Late to comment but here's my rant on inequalities:

    1. They say the fees cover cost of processing. Please let them explain then what extra processing goes into a 2 year visitor visa application (at £200) over a 6 month visitor visa (£63)?

    Moving slightly off subject but still with equality and fees:
    a) A frenchman (or any other euro-citizen) living outside Europe with his/her non-visa waiver zone spouse does not have to pay for a visa to visit his home country (or any other European country for that matter - schengen), but
    b) An englishman living outside Europe with his/her non-visa waiver zone spouse has to pay for a visa to visit his home country.

    That's not to mention how easy it is for a euro-zone citizen to move to the UK with his/her spouse - the EEA family permit is free and far from as painful a process as the £500, 2 month wait-for-just-an-appointment, UK Settlement visa.

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