The full list of fees for immigration applications from inside and outside the UK applying from 6 April 2015 has been published. There are some hefty and puzzling increases: a 50% hike to £162 for visiting academics for some reason, a 57% increase to £592 for relatives of refugees, a 37% increase to £1,500 for family of members of the British armed forces and for other applications for settlement, a 150% increase to £260 for a simple confirmation of immigration status document and hikes of between 10% and 50% for a range of nationality applications.
On top of all that, the “health surcharge” also comes into effect on 6 April 2015. This adds to the cost of applications made on or after 6 April 2015 £200 a year for temporary migrants and £150 a year for students. This is irrespective of whether they make any use of the NHS. Each dependent is charged the fee as well, which will quickly mount up for families.
When the health surcharge is taken into account the increases are even more severe: a 30% increase to a total of £1156 each for family members of British citizens coming to the UK, for example, and for the family members of refugees more than a 100% total increase to £792.
The intention of the exorbitant fees seems twofold: deter applications, particularly from those without substantial incomes, and make money.
The Home Office holds a monopoly on immigration application fees. They are not afraid to make maximum use of that monopoly.