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UK to raise student visa fee from Oct

UK to raise student visa fee from Oct

London: The UK Home Office on Friday announced that the fee for applying for a study visa from outside the country is set to increase by 127 pounds to 490 pounds beginning next month.

The move, which will impact several foreign students including Indians, is to equal the amount charged for in-country applications.

According to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, with more than 120,000 Indian students studying in the UK in 2021-2022, Indian students make up among the largest international student communities in the country.

Changes have also been made to the cost of a visit visa for less than six months, which is rising by 15 pounds to 115 pounds.

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the immigration and nationality fees will increase from October 4, the Home Office said. The government also said that changes to immigration and nationality fees have been made to pay for vital services and allow more funding to be prioritised for public sector pay rises.

The other increased fees include the fee for indefinite leave to enter and indefinite leave to remain; convention travel document and stateless person’s travel document; health and care visa; fees in relation to certificates of sponsorship and confirmation of acceptance for studies; the in and out of country fee for the super-priority service and the out of country fee for the priority service.

The changes do not include the planned increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is scheduled to be introduced later in the Autumn. The IHS was first introduced in 2015 at 200 pounds per application. It doubled to 400 pounds in 2018 and rose to 624 pounds in 2020.

In July, the government announced a 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.

"Income from fees charged plays a vital role in the Home Office’s ability to run a sustainable immigration and nationality system," a Home Office statement read.

"Careful consideration is given when setting fees to help reduce the funding contribution from British taxpayers, whilst continuing to provide a service that remains attractive to those wishing to work in the UK and support broader prosperity for all," the statement added.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative government has been under intense pressure over the public sector pay, which has resulted in a series of strikes over the past year hitting schools and hospitals.

With inputs from IANS

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