UK to increase visa fees

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The United Kingdom immigration minister Damian Green has proposed a further increase in visa application fees.

The UK Government says the new proposed fees will be laid in Parliament in two separate regulations.

If approved, the increased fees will take effect on April 6.

The UK Government has reiterated that the new charges will not come into force until they have been debated and approved in Parliament.

According to the UK home office website under the current spending review, the ministry has to cut its budget by 20 per cent.

It says the UK Border Agency is already seeking to offset this income gap with efficiency savings of approximately £500 million by reducing support costs, increasing efficiencies, boosting productivity and targeting commercial suppliers.

But the UK home office says these measures will not go far enough, and to address the funding shortfall the UK Border Agency will need to increase fees for the 2011/2012 financial year.

According to the UK Border Agency, the proposed visa fees increase strike the right balance between maintaining secure and effective border controls and ensuring that the structure facilitates the UK's ability to attract migrants and visitors who can make a valuable contribution to the country.

 

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