London: The fee for applying for a study visa from outside the UK is set to increase by £127 from next month, after a law was introduced in the British Parliament, impacting many Indian students. Britain’s Home Office said on Friday that the fee for applying for a student visa from outside the country will rise by 127 pounds to 490 pounds, the same amount as for applying in the country. The cost of visit visas for stays of less than six months has also been changed, rising from £15 to £115.
The Home Office announced that immigration and nationality fees would rise from 4 October, subject to parliamentary approval. According to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, more than 120,000 Indian students are studying in the UK in 2021-2022, one of the largest international student communities in the country. The government said the changes to immigration and nationality fees have been made to allow more funding to be prioritized to pay for vital services and public sector pay rises.
The changes do not include a planned increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is scheduled to be introduced later in the autumn. IHS was first introduced in 2015 at £200 per application. This doubled to £400 in 2018 and increased to £624 in 2020. In July the government announced a 15 percent increase in the cost of most work and visit visas, and at least a 20 percent increase in the cost of priority visas, study visas and certificates of sponsorship.
‘The income from fees charged plays a vital role in the Home Office’s ability to run the sustainable immigration and nationality system,’ a Home Office statement said. ‘Careful consideration is taken when setting fees to help minimize the funding contribution of British taxpayers, while continuing to provide a service that is accessible to those wishing to work in the UK,’ the statement said. Remain attractive and support widespread prosperity for all.’