The Government have announced they intend to significantly increase UK immigration fees and the cost of nationality services to levels considerably above the administrative costs of the services provided.
The Guardian notes the new regulations offer the “super rich” – such as international bankers and footballers – who want to extend their stay in Britain a £15,000 premium visa renewal service.
As part of the service, UK Border Agency officials visit migrants at home or work to sort out their immigration papers, take “biometric” photographs and fingerprints and, crucially, provide an on-the-spot decision.
The actual cost of providing the service? Only £1,982, but Immigration Minister Phil Woolas plans to reinvest the surplus to “fund the UK immigration system” and “support wider government objectives.”
Mr. Woolas added: “The revenue generated from increased fees will contribute towards the development and delivery of the new Points Based System, the rollout of identity cards for foreign nationals and investment in IT capability both overseas and in the UK.”
The Government reviews immigration fees on a regular basis. It says the new regulations reflect a “strategic approach to charging.”
By setting certain fees above cost, it balances a number of factors including the cost of processing applications, the importance of attracting certain groups of migrants to the UK and the value of a successful application to the migrant.
** UK Immigration Information & Advice **
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