In today’s blog update, we will be discussing the recent dramatic rise in UK immigration charges and penalties.
It is important to note that from 4th October 2023, the majority of immigration and Nationality Fees have increased roughly by 15%. Fees include among others, the work and study visas, Visit visas, Certificate of Sponsorships, and In For further details on each specific fee change, please see this link: Home office immigration and nationality fees: 4th of October 2023 – GOV.UK
The increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge will begin on 16 January 2024. Children, students, and Youth Mobility Scheme applicants will be required to pay 776 pounds annually as opposed to 470 pounds. While adults will be required to pay 1,035 pounds per year instead of 624 pounds. This translates into a significant 66% increase in adults. IHS is an upfront payment charged to most UK visa applicants in exchange for health care services at no cost in the UK and also free access to the NHS.
Lastly, it should be noted that a new draft Code of Practice on the civil penalty scheme for employers (preventing illegal working) has been published, which will apply to all right-to-work checks from 22 January 2024 inclusive that include any follow-up checks required Civil penalties for each illegal worker will increase from £15,000 to £45,000 if no breaches in last three years while the repeat offenders’ penalties will increase from £20,000 to£60,000. That is tripling the fine! Therefore, employers need to evaluate their ‘right to work’ policies and ensure they are compliant with current guidance, training their employees accordingly.
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