THE Home Office has been accused by critics of making a profit from soaring immigration fees that delivered a £500 million surplus last year.
Charges levied on thousands of people for British residency and citizenship have risen in the past five years, with profits increasing by 91 per cent.
Applicants have to pay 72 per cent more for limited leave and 119 per cent more for indefinite leave compared with five years ago, while costs for the Home Office have gone down. They must pay £1,012 to become British citizens – a fee that has risen by 51 per cent since 2014 and brings the Home Office a £640 profit for each application.
Labour MP Rupa Huq said the level of Home Office profits exposed was “shocking but not surprising”.
She added: “Every week I see people who have been ripped off by exorbitant application fees for substandard service while being fleeced by money-gobbling solicitors. The Windrush scandal exposed the incompetence of Home Office bureaucracy. This profiteering shows the hostile environment is alive and well. Labour would review these fees as a matter of urgency”.
The Home Office said all immigration fees were kept under review but insisted it did not make a profit.
A spokesperson said: “Visa, immigration and citizenship fees are set at a level that helps provide the resources necessary to operate our border, immigration and citizenship system, to reduce the burden on UK taxpayers.”