UK government to increase immigration fees by up to 20% : The impact on startup talent acquisition

UK government to increase immigration fees by up to 20% : The impact on startup talent acquisition

Bonita Boni
min read


UK Government to Increase Immigration Fees by Up to 20 Percent: Impact on Startup Talent Acquisition

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The UK government has recently unveiled significant changes to immigration costs as a consequence of budgetary adjustments affecting various visa categories. For startups seeking young talent and recent graduates, these alterations could have a substantial impact on recruiting decisions.


The latest update from the UK government reveals that work and visit visa fees will rise by approximately 15%, while study visas, certificates of sponsorship, settlement, citizenship, entry clearance, leave to remain, and priority visas will encounter an even more significant increase of at least 20%. These reforms are set to exert a notable influence on companies aiming to attract international talent.

An important development is the standardization of charges for students and foreign nationals using the priority visa service. This equalization means that regardless of whether applicants reside inside or outside the UK, their costs will be on the same scale, influencing budgetary considerations for companies searching for skilled professionals worldwide.

Additionally, individuals applying for visas will face an adjustment in immigration health surcharges. The fee will be set at £1,035 per year for the visa. However, students, including those applying through the country's Youth Mobility programs and persons under the age of 18, will benefit from a discounted charge of £776. This discrepancy in health surcharge payments could significantly impact startup recruiting decisions, particularly for young talent and recent graduates.

What are the Changes?

While the primary objective of these fee increases is to partially fund public sector wage raises, the unintended consequence may pose challenges for entrepreneurs attempting to address the persistent skills shortage in crucial tech disciplines.

Tech vacancies in the UK are on the rise, especially in engineering roles, presenting a significant challenge for startups looking to fill these critical positions. Jobbatical's data from May 2022 to May 2023 revealed that an impressive 29% of all roles for which businesses relocated personnel were engineering-related, underscoring the country's urgent need for skilled tech employees.

Skill Shortage and Global Talent Distribution

The complexity of the situation is further accentuated by recent reports from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), indicating a current skills shortage and an uneven distribution of talent worldwide. Startups find themselves competing with larger firms and industries for a limited pool of competent professionals, intensifying the recruitment process.

Impact on Startup Talent Acquisition

As the UK tightens immigration regulations and increases costs, startups may encounter additional challenges in attracting top overseas personnel. The additional immigration health surcharge could create financial hurdles in the relocation process, potentially discouraging potential applicants from pursuing opportunities in the UK. For startups already grappling with limited resources, the rising relocation fees may impede their ability to compete in the talent market.

Jobbatical Can Help

Amidst rising relocation costs and labor shortages, companies can rely on Jobbatical's platform to streamline immigration and visa acquisition. By simplifying the bureaucratic aspects of the process, our technology saves time and reduces stress for entrepreneurs and their HR teams facing continuous changes.

In conclusion, as the UK government prepares to increase immigration fees, startups must proactively adapt their talent acquisition strategies to navigate the evolving landscape. Jobbatical's innovative platform presents a valuable resource for companies aiming to attract global talent and build a diverse and skilled workforce that drives innovation and success in the ever-changing startup ecosystem.

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