New Immigration Fees to sweep UK
New Fees Ensure Firm But Fair Immigration System
30 January 2008
New immigration fees, funding sweeping changes to border security over the next 12 months, have today been announced by the Government.
The announcement comes just weeks before the introduction of a new points based system (PBS) for managing migration. The system will help ensure only workers with the skills to benefit Britain's economy come to the UK and put in place a licensing system for businesses who want to recruit from overseas. These new measures will help ensure people play by the rules.
Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said:
"We believe that it is fair that those who benefit most from using our immigration system should help fund it.
"We welcome the contribution that legal migrants make to the economy and cultural life in the UK and we have ensured that these fees, which will usher in the biggest reforms to the immigration system in a generation, are at levels that will not damage our international competitiveness.
"We are confident that we are not out of line with other countries’ prices and that the people we want to come here will not be deterred from doing so."
Regulations for the following immigration fees have been laid in Parliament:
- tier 1 of PBS - (general highly skilled workers) in-country applications;
- tier 2 of PBS - sponsor licence applications for employers;
- certain entry clearance and transit visas outside the PBS rules; and
- certificates of entitlement to right of abode in the UK.
The fees are part of a challenging programme of reform to the immigration system the Government has committed to over the next 12 months, which include the introduction of on-the-spot fines for employers who don’t make the right right-to-work checks, the introduction of a single border force with police-like powers for frontline staff, and compulsory ID cards for those foreign nationals who want to stay.
The Government has already achieved its first milestone by completing the global roll out of fingerprint checks on anyone who applies for a visa to come to the UK.
Taken together all these measures make-up the biggest shake-up of the immigration system in its history. They allow the UK to continue to reap the benefits of migration, while also preventing abuse of the system.