The Home Office has proposed changes to passport fees that could see the price of postal applications rise by 17 per cent.
If the plans are approved by Parliament, postal applications for UK passports could increase from £72.50 to £85 for adults and from £49 to £58.50 for children. The changes will come into effect on 27 March if it passes the vote.
However, online applications will only be subject to a marginal increase to £75.50 for adults and £49 for children.
The Home Office says the hike in postal fees are a measure designed to encourage the use of online services “and its ambition to create a self-sustainable immigration and borders system.”
The Home Office says the money collected through fees will contribute to the cost of processing British passport holders through borders, which is currently placed on taxpayer money, as well as to the cost of issuing passports and providing consular assistance for British nationals abroad. It claims there are plans to invest £100 million in border security and infrastructure next year.
Immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: “Our priority is to ensure that UK travellers have a secure, effective and efficient service from the point of application to the time they pass through the UK border and it is only right that we should look at this whole proves when setting our fees. These proposals will ensure that those people who don’t travel abroad are not footing the bill for those who do.”
A statement by the Home Office closes by claiming the fee changes are unrelated to the announcement that UK passports will be changing back to blue in October 2019.