Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, has announced an increase in the cost of immigrant visa applications.
After a speech advocating for higher salaries in the public sector, the announcement was made.
According to the British media, Sunak revealed that international migrants who come to the United Kingdom to live and work will contribute a portion of the financing for the wage hike.
Additionally, he stated that the national health service (NHS) fee paid by foreigners applying for visas will “increase significantly”.
A few weeks before, the PM had announced at the American embassy that he would be raising fees for handling non-immigrant visa (NIV) applications.
According to a statement on its website, the US Embassy, the revised prices for different visa categories will be in effect starting on June 17, 2023.
Sunak explained that this was “entirely right” as these fees have not been increased recently.
He said, “If we’re going to prioritise paying public sector workers more, that money has to come from somewhere else because I’m not prepared to put up people’s taxes and I don’t think it would be responsible or right to borrow more because that would just make inflation worse
“So, what we have done are two things to find this money. The first is, we are going to increase the charges that we have for migrants who are coming to this country when they apply for visas and indeed something called the immigration health surcharge (IHS), which is the levy that they pay to access the NHS.
“All of those fees will increase, raising nearly £1 billion in total. Therefore, the cost of applying for a visa will increase dramatically across the board and similarly for the IHS.
Sunak claims that because there won’t be any new borrowing or expenditure to pay for the hikes, this action won’t affect inflation.
According to him, the administration considers it appropriate given that prices have increased since the last increase.
Sunak said In a tweet: “I just announced a fair way to end the strikes – and already all teaching unions are backing it. It’s a fair deal for workers. And a fair deal for the British taxpayer. This is a major breakthrough for parents and families across the country.”