The government has announced proposals to change the fees charged for visas, immigration and nationality applications and associated premium services.
If Parliament approves the change the new fees will apply from 6 April 2014. Some fees for premium services overseas will apply from 31 March 2014.
In developing these proposals, the Home Office has sought to limit most increases to 4%. The main points for clients to note are:
- There are targeted increases to bring dependant fees in line with the main application fee;
- The Home Office is also introducing a reduced fee for those applying to work within areas regarded as shortage occupations;
- Reducing sponsorship fees for Tier 2 large sponsor licences and sponsor action plans, and freezing a number of other sponsorship fees;
- introducing a Tier 2 shortage occupations fee of £428 for applicants both overseas and in the UK.
New civil penalties
Draft legislation has been laid to increase the maximum penalty for employing an illegal worker from £10,000 to £20,000. This change, if passed, will take effect on 6 April 2014.