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But rise is less than that for immigrants to “keep UK attractive”

International students will not have to pay as much as immigrants under new immigration fees announced by the Government yesterday.

Those looking to work or live in the UK, “who are making significant economic gains from their application”, will pay greater immigration fees. However, the same increase will not be applied to tourists, visitors and students.

Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, Bill Rammell, said: “The Government recognises the benefits international students bring to the UK. The new fee structure is aimed at maintaining the attractiveness of the UK as a student destination, by keeping the student visa fee as low as possible, and in some cases reducing in cost over the next year”.

As of 1st April 2007, the revised student visa fee will be £99 ““ a rise of £14 from its last increase in 2005-2006, of £85.

Mr Rammell added: “[Yesterday’s] changes will help ensure Britain continues to attract the legal students who contribute so much to the UK’s economic and cultural life. The Home Office and UK Visas announcement today of new fees for Immigration and Nationality from 1st April shows the importance we attach to making sure the UK continues to be an attractive destination for international students”.

Issahaku Kotomah, International Students” Officer at the NUS, commented on the news: “NUS and the international students” committee welcome today’s announcement of special initial visa fees for international students. We are grateful that the voice of international students” has been heard, as many see fees as an additional barrier to come and study in the UK”.

Highlighting the notion that students should be paying less, he said: “International students are already faced with the cost of exponential international students course fees. We are welcoming the on-going discussion with the Government surrounding the points-based system. NUS is encouraged that the Government has recognised the value of international students and the need for the UK to be a competitive country in terms of initial visa fees”.

Vijay Pattni.

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