Non-UK residents will have to pay £5.48 for Visa enquiries form Thursday
The Home Office defended the decision to charge non-UK residents £5.48 to contact customer services, saying the move was an attempt to make the service "cost-neutral" to the taxpayer.
The price hike is the result of visa enquiry services being outsourced to new contractor Sitel UK, a subsidiary of of French company Acticall Sitel Group.
As well as the additional cost, the number of languages available to communicate in will also be cut down from 20 to just eight under the changes coming into effect on Thursday, June 1.
But the British Hospitality Industry (BHA) has warned the move could be detrimental to UK's tourism industry, a sector employing almost 10 per cent of the British population.
BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said: "Tourism is a highly price and time sensitive activity.
"If the visa application process is too cumbersome, demands too much time and the cost of the visa is perceived to be high, potential visitors are put off and quickly turn to the competition.
"That is why our main tourism rivals – Germany and France – continue to outperform the UK and enjoy significantly higher volumes of visitors and tourism exports from high spend visitors such as the Chinese."
"Hospitality and tourism businesses are already facing rising costs and the prospect of labour shortages, so it’s doubly important that the Government do not hinder our ability to compete.”
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A statement on the Home Office website said the changes would "help the Government reduce costs and ensure those who benefit directly from the UK immigration system make an appropriate contribution".
As well as the charge, customers will from Thursday only be able to communicate in English, Arabic, French, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese.
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Urdi and Punjabi are among the languages being cut, which the Home Office said represented just four per cent of all enquiries made to the visa office.