3 min read

UK has revealed new immigration fees

It will cost least £30,000 for a family of three to come into the UK and obtain citizenship after 6 years. Will this help UK's pursuit for talent?
Globe, UK flag and arrow with £30,000 pointing towards it

UK Home Office has finally revealed the changes to the immigration & nationality fees, coming into effect from October 4th, 2023:

Home Office immigration and nationality fees: 4 October 2023

What Changed?

For my fellow #UKGlobalTalent peeps, here's a breakdown of changes:
- IHS year: £624 -> £1,035 (+66%) [Announced separately, no date set yet]
- GT application: £623 -> £716 (+15%)
- ILR: £2,404 -> £2,885 (+20%)
- Naturalisation: £1,250 -> £1,500 (+20%) (+£80 ceremony)
- Naturalisation (child): £1,012 -> £1,214 (+20%)

Additional services

There are a few additional services, but realistically, most people on the GT route are opting for the Priority, because it's equivalent to getting a decision in 5 days vs 5 months:
- Priority : £500 -> £500 (0%) (it's £573 -> £500 outside of the UK to get on par)
- Super Priority: £800 -> £1000 (+25%)

UK Home Office has also, separately, published the transparency data including the costs to administer these procedures: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visa-fees-transparency-data

Before

So before the change, here's what it would cost someone to complete the full route from application to citizenship (all rounded):
- Single Person: £7,500 (cost to HO: £1,434, IHS: £3,120, markup: £3,000 | 40%)
- Couple: £15,000 (cost to HO: £2,868, IHS: £6,240, markup: £6,000 | 40%)
- Couple + child: £21,500 (cost to HO: £4,302, IHS: £8,590, markup: £3,000 | 40%)

After

Now, post-change, it will be:
- Single Person: £10,500 | +£3,000, 40% (cost to HO: £1,434, IHS: £5,175, markup: ~£4,000 | 38%)
- Couple: £20,500 | +£5,500, 37% (cost to HO: £2,868, IHS: £10,350, markup: ~£7,250 | 35%)
- Couple + child: £29,500 | +£8,000, 37% (cost to HO: £4,302, IHS: £14,230, markup: ~£11,000 | 37%)

What's the markup?

Separately, markup on each administrative action:
- GT: £283 (markup: £433 | 153%)
- ILR: £646 (markup: £2,239 | 347%)
- Naturalisation: £505 (markup: £995 | 197% for adult, slightly less for child)
- Priority: £25.08 (markup: £474.92 | 1,894%)
- Super Priority: £48.80 (markup: £951.2 | 1,946%)

Summary

So, in summary, a single person now has to pay £10k to the UK to get citizenship after 5/6 years (Talent/Promise), of which £5,000 goes to the NHS, £1,500 to administer it and £4,000 straight to the Treasury.
Double or triple it for couples and couples with kids, more or less.

Don't forget that the working adults would also pay an average of £5,000 in National Insurance (NI goes to NHS and into people's pensions) a year from their salary per person, and their employer would pay a further £7,000 in NI, assuming a salary of £60,000.

Oh, and because the new arrivals have no proof of address, referrals or history of life in the UK in most cases they would need to pay 6 months of rent upfront + deposit, which, on average, across all of the UK, would necessitate around £9,000 lump-sum to get a roof over one's head (£1,200 average, 150% deposit), bringing the total one-off cost of move to the UK for a couple on GT route to an eye-watering £20,000 ($25,000 | €23,000) - GT, IHS, Rent.

Fallout?

The policy of making money on immigration was introduced some 10 years ago in 2014 by Theresa May and Home Office racks up serious money doing this, £500 million just in 2018, up 100% from 2014 when it was introduced, even before we consider all of the taxes and additional economics benefits that high-skill migration brings.

It seems like some of the negative consequences of these decisions aren't of a particular concern to the government, however:

Half of people trying to get permanent UK residency by 10-year route struggle to afford food
Effects of ‘devastating and punishing’ Home Office system introduced in 2012 now being felt, experts say

🤔 Wonder how attractive that makes the UK to some people? Do you have £15,000 burning a hole in your pocket? Would you drop it on this chance?