Skip to main content

Written Statements

Volume 575: debated on Monday 3 February 2014

Written Statements

Monday 3 February 2014

Business, Innovation and Skills

Regional Growth Fund

In July 2013, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced the 102 projects and programmes selected for support in round 4 of the regional growth fund (RGF).

RGF Round 4

In common with the new six-month timetable to agree final terms with Government which was placed on all RGF recipients for round 3, each of these round 4 projects and programmes was expected to sign its final agreement by 17 January 2014.

I can inform the House that 75 of those negotiations were completed before that date. In addition, since 17 January 2014, a further five round 4 negotiations have been completed.

For the remainder of the cases the due diligence process has shown issues that will require more time to resolve and I have therefore agreed short extensions to these cases so that they can be finalised very soon.

RGF Rounds 1 to 3

The rounds 1 and 2 process for finalising an agreement with Government is now complete and the round 3 process is 98% complete with one company still to agree final terms on its offer.

Operational projects and programmes

Taking all four rounds together, this means there are now 340 projects and programmes operational across England—an increase of 157 on this time last year.

We will publish our 2014 annual monitoring report later this year, which will detail the progress these schemes have made in job delivery and securing private sector investment.

Exceptional RGF

In my written ministerial statement of 11 February 2013, Official Report, column 33WS, I announced that Ministers would consider bids to the RGF on an exceptional basis—that is applications from organisations with credible plans for growth and job delivery where a decision is needed imminently in order to realise those plans.

We have finalised one exceptional RGF award with JC Bamford Excavators Ltd for £2.9 million, helping to create and safeguard almost 400 jobs in the west and east midlands. This award means the local area is benefiting from private sector job creation and investment in a way that would not have been possible in the time frames of the normal RGF bidding rounds.

Withdrawals

In my written ministerial statement of 21 May 2013, Official Report, column 61WS, I published a list of projects and programmes that had withdrawn from the RGF process. Below is a list of further withdrawals since that date. In most cases projects and programmes withdraw themselves during contractual negotiations, when it becomes clear to them that they do not wish to proceed with their plans as set out in their original applications. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as a changing market outlook or a reorganisation of their own future planned investment priorities. In all cases all the money awarded to the project and programme is recycled back into the fund so that other companies can benefit from the support of the RGF.

Beneficiary

Round

Beneficiary

Round

Alnmaritec

l1

Tees Valley Unlimited

3

Capway Systems

1

AgustaWestland Ltd

4

Holroyd Precision Ltd

1

Community Development Finance Association

4

Nissan UK P2

1

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Europe Ltd

4

Worcestershire County Council

1

Gygnet Group Ltd

4

Manchester City Council

2

Fairline Boats Ltd

4

Permoid

2

Frontier Agriculture Ltd

4

Ronfell

2

Harwell Science and Innovation Campus GP

4

Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd

2

NVC Lighting Ltd

4

TerraVerdae BioWorks Ltd

2

Oclaro Technology Ltd

4

Applied Superconductor Ltd

2

Robinson Brothers Ltd

4

AstraZeneca plc

2

SPI Lasers UK Ltd

4

ATB Morley Ltd

3

STRUCTeam Ltd

4

Five-Quarter Energy Ltd

3

TAG Farnborough Airport Ltd

4

James Cropper plc

3

The Oxford Trust/Science Oxford

4

Koyo Bearings (Europe) Ltd

3

Thomas Swan & Co Ltd

4

Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics Ltd

3

Vix Technology (UK) Ltd

4

Sabic UK Petrochemicals Ltd

3

Wade Ceramics Ltd

4

Tata Steel UK Rail Consultancy Ltd

3

-

-

Cabinet Office

Security Vetting Appeals Panel (Triennial Review)

On 4 July 2013, I made a written statement to Parliament announcing the triennial review of the Security Vetting Appeals Panel—Official Report, column 59WS. I am now pleased to announce the completion of the review.

The Security Vetting Appeals Panel (SVAP) provides a final means of challenging a decision to refuse or withdraw security clearance as part of the Government’s policy on national security vetting.

The review concludes that the functions performed by the SVAP are still required and that it should be retained as a non-departmental public body (NDPB). The review also looked at the governance arrangements for the body in line with guidance on good corporate governance as set out by the Cabinet Office. The report makes some recommendations in this respect which will be implemented shortly.

I am very grateful to Sir Alex Allan for his work on this review and to all who contributed. The full report of the review of the SVAP panel can be found on the gov.uk website and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Communities and Local Government

Floods (Response and Recovery)

I am providing an update for the House on the Department for Communities and Local Government’s work on flood recovery arising from the east coast tidal surge on 5 and 6 December and the widespread severe weather since Christmas.

The Bellwin scheme has been made available to authorities affected by the severe weather events in England from 5 December 2013 to date to assist with the immediate costs associated with these events. A total of 53 local authorities have notified us of their intention to claim.

Following my written ministerial statement on the 14 January, Official Report, column 24WS confirming my Department’s lead responsibility for the recovery from the severe weather events, I announced my intention to meet local authority leaders who had been impacted by these events to hear their concerns. I have met with authorities from East Anglia, Kent, Yorkshire and Humberside already, and will meet with leaders from other affected areas and voluntary sector organisations over the next fortnight to hear from them about the impact of the severe weather and the work they are undertaking to help communities return to normal.

In my written ministerial statement of 17 January, Official Report, column 33-34WS, I announced a £6.7 million severe weather recovery scheme to provide additional financial support to local authorities in England to help them tackle community impacts and damage to roads and bridges. I am pleased to confirm that my Department will contribute a further £300,000 to the severe weather recovery scheme to bring the total funding available to £7 million. This support is in addition to the Bellwin scheme, and any insurance claims and existing central/local government obligations. We will be writing to all local authorities shortly with details of the £7 million scheme and how they may apply for assistance.

For those areas still in response, I can confirm that my Department’s national fire assets have been deployed to those areas most in need including the Somerset levels where 13 high-volume pumps are in place of which eight are in action and five are being held in strategic reserve.

A further announcement on support for local authorities will be made in the coming days.

New Homes Bonus

I refer to my written ministerial statement of 16 December 2013, Official Report, columns 69-70WS announcing provisional new homes bonus allocations for local authorities.

The representation period closed on 10 January 2014. We received 22 representations. These have been taken into account in finalising the figures.

We will pay almost £917 million of new homes bonus for local authorities in England. This includes instalments from the previous three years of the bonus.

These allocations bring the total amount of funding awarded under the new homes bonus since it began in April 2011 to £2.2 billion. This total recognises delivery of almost 550,000 homes, and over 93,000 empty properties being brought back into use.

The bonus will be paid in respect of 171,000 homes from October 2012 to October 2013 including 133,000 extra homes and 38,000 long-term empty properties brought back into use. The allocations also include an affordable homes enhancement, which totals £15 million in respect of 43,000 new affordable homes.

Commenced in April 2011, the bonus is based on the council tax of additional homes and those brought back into use, with an additional amount for affordable homes. Each year’s bonus award is paid for six years. It ensures that those local authorities which promote and welcome growth can share in its economic benefits, and build the communities in which people want to live and work. This Government introduced the new homes bonus as a permanent part of the local government finance system. This is the fourth year of payments on the same basis as the original policy and the Government will maintain the bonus as an important incentive for councils to build more houses for their communities. We will continue to pay the bonus in the future to ensure that places that have built houses are properly rewarded for doing so.

Authorities can choose to spend the money as they see fit, from providing new facilities, to protecting front-line services or simply freezing council tax. The incentive of the new homes bonus is complemented by the local retention of business rates and community infrastructure levy, to ensure that local communities can share the benefits of new development.

The Department is writing to local authorities confirming their final allocations and I am writing to all Members of Parliament and local authority leaders in England.

A full list of the allocations is being placed in the Library of the House. Further information on the bonus can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/increasing-the-number-of-available-homes/supporting-pages/new-homes-bonus

Home Department

Visa Regulations

I am today announcing proposals to change the fees for immigration and nationality applications made to the Home Office and for services provided by the Department. The Government review these fees on a regular basis and make appropriate changes as necessary.

In developing these proposals, the Home Office has sought to limit most increases to 4%. There are further targeted increases to bring dependant fees in line with main application fees, to register as a British citizen and some premium services. A staggered rise has been applied to the long-term visit visa (greater than six months) with a higher rise to the two and five-year visas to ensure the 10-year visa stays at its current level. We are also introducing a reduced fee for those applying to work within areas regarded as shortage occupations and to the direct airside transit visa.

The Home Office has given careful consideration to its fee levels, to ensure they provide the funding necessary to operate effective immigration controls and invest in improving service levels to customers. This is balanced against the need to ensure that the UK continues to attract and welcome the “brightest and best” migrants from around the world and those that make a valued contribution to British society. Given the ongoing need to reduce public spending, we believe it is right that we continue to reduce the contribution made by UK taxpayers towards delivering the immigration system by asking those who use and benefit directly from the system to make a greater contribution.

For certain application categories, we will continue to set fees higher than the administrative cost to reflect their value to successful applicants. This helps to provide resources to run the UK immigration system and enables the Home Office to set lower fees elsewhere in support of wider Government objectives to attract those businesses, workers, students and visitors who most benefit the UK. This includes the short-term visit visa which remains significantly below cost.

I have laid regulations for fees set higher than cost. In addition, I will shortly lay another set of regulations in Parliament for fees set at or below cost. Further details explaining all fees changes are provided in the explanatory memoranda for both sets of regulations. Subject to parliamentary approval the Government intend to bring new fees into force from 6 April 2014 with some fees for premium services overseas coming into effect on 31 March 2014.

The attached table, setting out all the proposed fees, includes indicative unit costs for financial year 2014-15. The unit cost is the estimated average cost to the Home Office of processing each application. Unit costs are published so it is clear which fees we set over cost and by how much.

Full details on how to apply for all of the Home Office’s products and services will be provided on the Home Office website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Applications Made Outside the UK

Entry Clearance Visas - Non PBS

Unit Costs

April 2014

Current Fees

New Fees

6th April

% Increase

Visit Visa - short up to 6 months

£115

£80

£83

4.0%

Visit visa - long up to 2 years

£115

£278

£300

8.0%

Visit visa - long up to 5 years

£115

£511

£544

6.5%

Visit visa - long up to 10 years

£115

£737

£737

0.0%

Extended Student Visit visa (between 6 & 11 months)

£115

£144

£150

4.0%

Settlement

£378

£851

£885

4.0%

Settlement - dependant relative

£378

£1,906

£1,982

4.0%

Settlement (refugee dependant relative)*

£378

£407

£378

-7.1%³

Certificate of Entitlement

£378

£278

£289

4.0%

Other visa

£170

£278

£289

4.0%

Transit visa (Direct Airside)

£83

£54

£40

-25.0%

Transit Visa (Landside)

£83

£54

£54

0.0%

Media Representatives

£177

£494

£514

4.0%

Vignette transfer fee

£170

£105

£109

4.0%

Call out/out of hours fee (per hr)

£130 /hr

£130/hr

£130/hr

0.0%

Single entry visa to replace Biometric Residence Permit overseas

£72

£72

£72

0.0%

Receiving, preparing and forwarding documents on behalf of Commonwealth Countries/Overseas Territories

£115

N/A

£115

N/A

Registered Traveller - Yearly Subscription (NEW)

N/A

N/A

£50 per year

N/A

Registered Traveller - Registration of New Documents (NEW)

N/A

N/A

£20

N/A

Priority Visa Service - Settlement

£6

Varies by Location

£300

N/A

Priority Visa Service - Non-Settlement

£6

Varies by Location

£100

N/A

Super Priority Visa Service

£100

£600

£600

0.0%

User Pays VACs

£53

Varies by Location

£53

N/A

Passport Passback Service

£40

Varies by Location

£40

N/A

Prime-time visa application centre appointment

£35

Varies by Location

£50

N/A

International contact centre service - Live chat (Flat rate) (NEW)

N/A

N/A

£4

N/A

International contact centre service - Helpline per Minute (NEW)

N/A

N/A

£1.37

N/A

Applications Made Outside the UK

Visa - PBS

Unit Costs

April 2014

Current Fees

New Fees

6th April 2014

% Increase

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur, Investor, Exceptional Talent1) - Main applicant2

£352

£840

£874

4.0%

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur, Investor, Exceptional Talent1) - All dependants

£352

£840

£874

4.0%

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur - Main applicant and all dependants

£352

£298

£310

4.0%

Tier 1 Post Study Work—All dependants

£352

£498

£518

4.0%

Tier 2 General, ICT—Long term staff, Sport & MOR – main applicants2

£173

£494

£514

4.0%

Tier 2 General, ICT—Long term staff, Sport & MOR – Main dependants

£173

£494

£514

4.0%

Tier 2 ICT Short term staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer – main applicants & dependants2

£173

£412

£428

4.0%

Tier 2 General, ICT over 3 years limited leave to remain - Long term staff - main Apps2 (NEW)

£173

N/A

£1,028

N/A

Tier 2 General, ICT over 3 years limited leave to remain - Long term staff - Dependants Apps (NEW)

£173

N/A

£1,028

N/A

Tier 2 - Shortage Occupations: Up to 3 years limited leave to remain - Main2 (NEW)

£173

£494

£428

-13.6%

Tier 2 - Shortage Occupations: Up to 3 years leave to remain – Dependant (NEW)

£173

£494

£428

-13.6%

Tier 2 - Shortage Occupations: over 3 years leave to remain - Main2 (NEW)

£173

N/A

£856

N/A

Tier 2 - Shortage Occupations: over 3 years leave to remain – Dependant (NEW)

£173

N/A

£856

N/A

Tier 4 - main apps2

£204

£298

£310

4.0%

Tier 4 - dependants

£204

£298

£310

4.0%

Tier 5 Temp Work & Youth Mobility - main apps2

£131

£200

£208

4.0%

Tier 5 - all dependants

£131

£200

£208

4.0%

1The Exceptional Talent application fee will be payable in 2 parts.

2Council of European Social Charter (CESC) reduction applies. Reduction set at £55 per eligible applicant..

3Reductions in line with 2013 unit cost.

ICT: Intra Company Transfer

MOR: Minister of Religion

Applications Made within the UK

Applications Relating to Nationality

Unit Costs

April 2014

Current Fees

New Fees

6th April

% Increase

Naturalisation (UK Citizenship) single application1

£144

£794

£906

4.0%

Naturalisation (UK Citizenship) joint application1

£203

£1,390

£1,652

12.9%

Naturalisation as a British overseas territories citizen single application (NEW)

£144

£568

£661

16.4%

Naturalisation as a British overseas territories citizen joint application (NEW)

£144

N/A

£1,322

N/A

Nationality (UK Citizenship) Registration adult1

£144

£673

£823

10.4%

Nationality (UK Citizenship) Registration minor2

£144

£673

£669

-0.6%

Nationality Registration (British Overseas Territories Citizen) adult (CHANGED)

£144

£568

£595

4.5%

Nationality Registration (British Overseas Territories Citizen) minor (CHANGED)

£144

£568

£536

-5.6%

Nationality Registration (British Subject British Overseas Citizen/British Protected Person) adult (NEW)

£144

N/A

£595

N/A

Nationality Registration (British Subject British Overseas Citizen) minor (NEW)

£144

N/A

£601

N/A

Renunciation of Nationality

£187

£187

£187

0.0%

Nationality Reissued Certificate4

£85

£94

£85

-9.6%

Nationality Right of Abode

£187

£170

£187

4.0%

Nationality Reconsiderations

£85

£80

£80

0.0%

Status Letter (Nationality) 4

£85

£94

£85

-9.6%

Non-Acquisition Letter (Nationality)4

£85

£94

£85

-9.6%

Nationality Correction to Certificate4

£85

£94

£85

-9.6%

European Residence Document—(Residence Certificate)3

£88

£55

£55

0.0%

European Residence Document—(Document certifying permanent residence)3

£88

£55

£55

0.0%

European Residence Document—(Residence Card and Derivative Residence Card)3

£88

£55

£55

0.0%

European Residence Document—(Permanent Residence Card)3

£88

£55

£55

0.0%

1£80 per applicant is included to cover the ceremony fee.

2Additional £80 per applicant is required to cover the ceremony fee should the minor turn 18 during the application process. This will be requested at point of decision.

3Residence documents issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations are not mandatory.

4Fee reductions in line with 2013 unit cost.

Applications Made Outside the UK

In-UK PBS

Unit Costs

April 2014

Current Fees

New Fees

6th April

% Increase

ILR Standard – main applicant

£248

£1,051

£1,093

4.0%

ILR Standard - all dependants

£248

£788

£1,093

38.7%

LTR Other Standard – main applicant

£278

£578

£601

4.0%

LTR Other Standard – all dependants

£278

£433

£601

38.8%

NTL – main applicant2

£104

£147

£104

-29.3%

NTL Postal – all dependants2

£104

£147

£104

-29.3%

Transfer of Conditions – main applicant2

£107

£147

£107

-27.2%

Transfer of Conditions – all dependants2

£107

£147

£107

-27.2%

Travel Documents Adult (CoT)2

£246

£257

£246

-4.3%

Travel Documents Adult CTD2

£69

£72.50

£69

-4.8%

Travel Documents Child (CoT)2

£157

£164

£157

-4.3%

Travel Documents Child CTD

£49

£46

£46

0.0%

BRP / Replacement Biometric Residence Permit

£57

£38

£40

4.0%

Work Permit Technical Changes

£22

£22

£22

0.0%

Residual FLR IED Standard – main applicant

£278

£578

£601

4.0%

Residual FLR IED Standard – all dependants

£278

£433

£601

38.8%

Residual FLR BUS Standard – main applicant

£278

£1,051

£1,093

4.0%

Residual FLR BUS Standard – all dependants

£278

£788

£1,093

38.7%

Employment LTR outside PBS Standard

£278

£578

£601

4.0%

Employment LTR outside PBS Standard Dependant

£278

£433

£601

38.8%

Application in Person (AIP) – main applicant and all dependants1

N/A

£375

£400

6.7%

Appointment booking fee1

N/A

£100

£100

0.0%

Super Premium service (mobile case working) - Price & Standard AIP Fee

£2,211

£6,000

£6,000

0.0%

Call out/out of hours fee (Per Hr)

£130 /hr

£130/hr

£130/hr

0.0%

1For applications made in person (e.g. at a public enquiry office) the total fee is the relevant standard fee plus £400 per person (this includes the £100 appointment fee, which may be retained should the applicant fail to attend their appointment without good reason).

2Fee reductions in line with 2013 unit cost.

ILR= Indefinite Leave to Remain

IED = Immigration Employment Document

LTR = Leave to Remain

FLR = Further Leave to Remain

Standard = Postal or online applications where online application is available.

Applications Made within the UK

In UK - PBS

Unit Costs

April 2014

Current Fees

New Fees

6th April

% Increase

Tier 1 - (General) Standard —main applicant4

£242

£1,545

£1,607

4.0%

Tier 1 - (General) Standard -all dependants

£242

£1,159

£1,607

38.7%

Tier 1 - Standard (Entrepreneur, Investor)1 - main applicant4

£340

£1,051

£1,093

4.0%

Tier 1 - Standard (Entrepreneur, Investor, Exceptional Talent)—all dependants1

£340

£788

£1,093

38.7%

Tier 1 – Graduate Entrepreneur Standard - main applicant 4

£290

£406

£422

4.0%

Tier 1 - Graduate Entrepreneur Standard - all dependants

£290

£305

£422

38.4%

Tier 1 = Exceptional talent extension - main applicant (NEW)4

£340

N/A

£1,093

N/A

Tier 1 = Exceptional talent extension – all dependants (NEW)

£340

N/A

£1,093

N/A

Tier 2 General, ICT up to 3 years leave to remain— Long term staff, Sport & MOR - Standard main applicant4

£213

£578

£601

4.0%

Tier 2 General, ICT up to 3 years leave to remain— Long term staff, Sport & MOR – all dependants

£213

£434

£601

38.5%

Tier 2 ICT – Short term staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer - Standard – main applicant 4

£191

£412

£428

4.0%

Tier 2 ICT – Short term staff, Graduate Trainee or Skills Transfer – Standard - all dependants

£191

£309

£428

24.9%

Tier 2 General, ICT over 3 years leave to remain– Long term staff, Sport & MOR - main applicant (NEW)4

£213

N/A

£1,202

N/A

Tier 2 General, ICT over 3 years leave to remain– Long term staff – all dependants (NEW)

£213

N/A

£1,202

N/A

Tier 2 - Shortage Occupations: Up to 3 years leave to remain - main applicant (NEW)4

£213

£578

£428

-26.0%

Tier 2 - Shortage Occupations: Up to 3 years leave to remain – all dependants (NEW)

£213

£434

£428

-11.1%

Tier 2 - Shortage Occupations: Over 3 years leave to remain - main applicant (NEW)4

£213

N/A

£856

N/A

Tier 2 - Shortage Occupations: Over 3 years leave to remain – all dependants (NEW)

£213

N/A

£856

N/A

Tier 4 – Standard – main applicant

£203

£406

£422

4.0%

Tier 4 – Standard – all dependants

£203

£305

£422

38.4%

Tier 5 – Standard – main applicant4

£187

£200

£208

4.0%

Tier 5 – Standard - all dependants

£187

£150

£208

38.7%

Tier 4 – Permission to Change Sponsor2

£160

£160

£160

0.0%

Application in Person (AIP) – main applicant and all dependants3

N/A

£375

£400

6.7%

Priority service – main applicant and all dependants

N/A

£275

£300

9.0%

Appointment booking fee

N/A

£100

£100

0.0%

Super Premium service (mobile case working) - Price & Standard AIP Fee

£2,211

£6,000

0.0%

£6,000

Premium Postal Service (Tier 2 Only)

N/A

£275

£300

9%

1The Exceptional Talent application fee is payable in two parts.

2Only for migrants that applied to UKBA for permission to study from 31 March 2009 to 4 October 2009.

3For applications made in person (e.g. at a public inquiry office) the total fee is the relevant standard fee plus £400 per person (this includes the £100 appointment fee, which may be retained should the applicant fail to attend their appointment without good reason).

Standard = Postal or online applications where online application is available.

4Council of European Social Charter (CESC) reduction applies. Reduction set at £55 per eligible applicant.

ICT = Intra Company Transfer

MOR = Minister of Religion

Applications Made Outside the UK

PBS Sponsorship

Unit Costs

April 2014

Current Fees

New Fees

6th April

% Increase

Premium Sponsor Scheme Tier 2 & 5 – large sponsors

N/A

£25,000

£25,000

0.0%

Premium Sponsor Scheme Tier 2 & 5 – small sponsors

N/A

£8,000

£8,000

0.0%

Premium Scheme Tier 4 Sponsors

N/A

£8,000

£8,000

0.0%

Tier 2 Large Sponsor Licence1

£1,476

£1,545

£1,476

-4.5%

Tier 2 Small Sponsor Licence

£1,476

£515

£536

4.0%

Tier 4 Sponsor Licence

£1,476

£515

£536

4.0%

Tier 5 Sponsor Licence

£1,476

£515

£536

4.0%

Tier 2, Tier 4 &/or Tier 5 Licence (where sponsor currently holds Tier 4 or Tier 5 licence)1

£1,476

£1,030

£940

-8.7%

Highly Trusted Sponsor Licence

£1,476

£515

£536

4.0%

Sponsor Action Plan1

£1,476

£1,545

£1,476

-4.5%

Tier 2 Certificate Of Sponsorship (COS)

£154

£184

£184

0.0%

Tier 4 Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)

£14

£14

£14

0.0%

Tier 5 Certificate Of Sponsorship (COS)

£14

£14

£14

0.0%

Fee Reductions in line with 2013 unit cost.

Prime Minister

UK/France Summit

On 31 January 2014, I welcomed President François Hollande to RAF Brize Norton for the third UK/France summit. We discussed the security and prosperity of our two nations including greater co-operation on defence and security, space and energy. I am placing copies of the agreements setting out plans for closer ties between our two countries in the Libraries of both Houses.