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(Feb 02, 2008) The UK Home Office has announced new immigration fees as part of a reform of border security provisions. Although fees for a number of immigration services, such as those for student visas, will be unchanged, there will be increases to keep some fees in line with inflation. For the new points-based immigration system, there will be fees that generally correspond to those already in place.

Fees will be levied for the "sponsorship" system, a new process in which organizations, such as businesses and schools, can share responsibility for making sure that immigration laws are followed. The organizations pay fees for four-year licenses to sponsor skilled workers, students, or other special migrants to enter the country. Small businesses and registered charities bringing skilled workers would pay £300, other employers would pay £1,000, and educational bodies would pay £400 for the licenses (about US$596, $1,988, and $795, respectively). Immigration Minister Liam Byrne defended the new plan, under which those who benefit most from the immigration system cover some of its costs. The new fees will fund improvements in the system, including capturing biometric data such as fingerprints from all visa applicants, a single border force with police powers to prevent illegal entrance, and compulsory ID cards for immigrants remaining in the UK. In addition, there will be "on the spot" fees for those hiring illegal immigrants. (Press Release, Home Office, New Immigration Fees Announced (Jan. 30, 2008), Open Source Center No. EUP20080201167009.)

Author: Constance Johnson More by this author
Topic: Immigration and nationality More on this topic
Jurisdiction: United Kingdom More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 02/02/2008