High Visa Fees for Fresh Talent Initiative Prospectors

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2007 National Black Members' Conference
26 September 2006

UNISON welcomes the proposal to use the Scottish Executive Fresh talent Initiative as a model in the North West and West Midlands and applauds the efforts to sensitise the population on the positive contribution that immigrants make to the Scottish economy.

We are however concerned at the very high fees associated with the Fresh Talent Initiative visa.

Currently prospective fresh talent initiative applicants are required to pay £300 (three hundred pounds), if the application is sent to the home office in Croydon or £500 (five hundred pounds) if they apply to the Home Office in Glasgow and turn up in person to the interview.

This high cost is considered a heavy burden on applicants who have just completed a course at a university, where most of them will be paying university fees three times the home students’ fees. We also consider that this high fee is not in the spirit of support for those the Scottish Executive considers to be a positive contribution to the Scottish economy.

We therefore appeal to this conference to instruct the National Black Members Committee to work with the National Executive Committee and Trades Union Congress affiliates in campaigning for the Home Office to review the high visa fees for all fresh talent initiative applicants.