By Daniel Hunter

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said the increase in visa fees for working migrants and their sponsors is a “bitter blow” to business.

The government announced that skilled workers — or “tier two” migrants — who apply from abroad would have to pay £480 instead of the current £400 fee.

The cost to sponsor firms in the UK of bringing in “tier two” migrants also rose — up 46% to £1,500 for large companies and up 60% to £500 for small companies.

Neil Carberry, the CBI Director for Employment and Skills policy, condemned the move.

“The shock announcement that some work permit charges will rise between 20 and 60 per cent will come as a bitter blow to businesses,” he said.

“Firms have yet to see the improvements in customer service they were promised, in return for the last tranche of inflation-busting rises last year.”

The new fees will take effect from April.

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