The UK government has announced an upcoming increase in the fees for UK Visitor Visas, affecting tourists and students planning to visit the United Kingdom. These changes are set to take effect from October 4th, 2023.
For tourists planning to stay in the UK for less than six months, the fee for a tourist visa will rise by £15, approximately Rp286,000. This means that tourists will be required to pay £115, around Rp2.2 million, for a visitor visa valid for stays of fewer than six months, as reported by gov.uk.
Student Visa Fees
Foreign students coming to UK will also face increased fees. The cost of a UK Student Visa will go up by £127, approximately Rp2.4 million, for travelers from all around the world. This will bring the total visa fee for foreign students in the UK to £490, roughly equivalent to Rp9.3 million.
It’s important to note that these changes in visa fees are pending approval from Parliament and are expected to be officially implemented on October 4th, as announced by the Home Office.
Expected Revenue Impact
These fee adjustments are anticipated to result in increased revenue for UK government, potentially exceeding £1 billion or more than Rp19 trillion. The Home Office has stated that there will be a 15% fee increase for most work and visit visas, with certain visa categories such as priority visas, student visas, and sponsorship certificates facing a minimum 20% fee hike.
The UK as a Premier Tourist Destination
The United Kingdom remains a highly sought-after tourist destination globally. CEIC Data reports that in 2022, there were 31.2 million tourist visits marking a substantial increase from the 6.3 million visitors in 2021.
The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) reveals that royal parks attracted over 5.6 million visitors in 2022, securing their position as the top tourist destinations for two consecutive year.
Furthermore, ALVA’s data highlights a remarkable 69% increase in overall visits to galleries, museums, and heritage sites in the UK since 2021, despite international tourist numbers still being below pre-pandemic levels.
The Natural History Museum ranks as the second most-visited site in the UK and holds the top spot among indoor attractions, with 4.6 million visitors in the previous year.
Impact on Travelers
Travelers planning trips to for tourism or educational purposes should take these impending fee increases into account when budgeting for their visits. As the UK continues to gain popularity as a tourist destination, staying informed about visa requirements and fees is crucial for prospective travelers.