The United Kingdom has announced that it is set to increase visa application fees for foreigners, including Nigerians seeking to migrate to the European country to live and work.
UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who made this known during a press conference at Downing Street, added that the Immigration Health Surcharge, a fee paid by foreigners to access the country’s National Health Scheme, would also increase significantly.
Sunak explained that the hike became necessary in order to raise the money to pay public sector workers more without resorting to borrowing, which he said would only fuel inflation.
Instead he said a combination of higher fees for foreigners hoping to move to the UK would cover the cost of pay rises.
Following a series of strikes by some public sector workers in the UK recently demanding a pay rise, the prime minister accepted the recommendation of an independent review of pay for teachers, junior doctors, consultants, dentists, police and prison officers.
Others to benefit from the pay rise, according to him, are senior civil servants and military personnel, even as the Prime Minister confirmed that the increase would be between five and seven per cent across board.
Sunak 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.”
“All of those fees are going to go up and that will raise over £1 billion. So, across the board visa application fees are going to go up significantly and similarly for the IHS. Work and visa fees are expected to rise by 15 per cent, with all other visa fees rising by at least 20 per cent.”