Avoid the UK Government’s Inflated Immigration Health Surcharge

UPDATE 25 September 2020: We had previously advised that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) would be increased from £400.00 per year to £624.00 per year on 1st October 2020.

Since the posting of our blog on 09.09.2020, we can confirm that this price hike has not yet entered law. This mean that the IHS will not be increased on 1st October 2020, as originally planned by the UK Government.

As it stands the draft Order to increase the IHS, although passed by the both the House of Commons and House of Lords, still requires a Minister’s final signature in order to be made into law. Read more.

Once the Order has been signed, the changes to the IHS can only take effect from 21 days after the Order is made into law.

In the meantime, the IHS remains the same. However as the Order could be signed at any time now, we anticipate that it will still increase in October 2020, although the actual date is not yet known.

We would therefore advise that applicants look to submit their visa applications ASAP in order to avoid the elevated IHS.


Prior to winning the General Election in December 2019, the Conservative Party outlined their intention to increase the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to ensure migrants were “making a sufficient contribution to our health service”.

This rise was then confirmed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 11th March 2020 when he presented his recent budget to Parliament.

From 1st October 2020, the IHS will rise from £400.00 per year to £624.00 per year for non-EEA temporary migrants. This equates to a rise of 56%!

Any visa applications made before the 1st October 2020, however will not incur this rise.  Therefore, we highly recommend that applicants seeking to apply to enter the UK or the first time or who seek to apply for Further Leave to Remain in the UK, do so as soon as possible.

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge was first created in 2015. It is a payment which is required to be paid by non-EEA migrants and their dependants in order to allow them to access the National Health Service (NHS).

The IHS must be paid by non-EEA migrants who seek to either enter the UK for the first time or apply for Further Leave to Remain in the UK. Find out more.

How much will the Immigration Health Surcharge now cost?

The IHS will now rise from £400.00 per year to £624.00 per year for non-EEA temporary migrants. This equates to a rise of 56%.

A separate surcharge of £470.00 (previously £300.00) will also be charged for any dependants (children under the age of 18) included on a visa application too.

Additionally, students (and their dependants) and persons listed on the Youth Mobility Scheme will also now be required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge of £470.00 per year instead of £300.00 per year. This also equates to a rise of 56%. Find out more.

When will this rise come into effect?

The new IIHS will come into effect on 1st October 2020.

Any applications submitted to the Home Office before this date will not incur the additional charge.

We would strongly recommend making a visa application before the end of this month to ensure that applicants do not incur additional costs.

Will there be any further rises?

Given that the Immigration Health Surcharge was only recently raised from £200.00 a year to £400.00 a year in January 2019, it is likely that the Immigration Health Surcharge will be raised again in the future.

It should be noted that from January 2021, the Immigration Health Surcharge will also apply to EEA nationals who seek to enter the UK for a period of over 6 months. This change will come into place after the UK’s Brexit transition period ends early next year.

Exemptions for Migrant NHS Workers

The UK Government has now confirmed that non-EEA migrants who work for the NHS will no longer be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Matt Hancock, Health Secretary said this exemption has been brought into force as the UK Government recognises the “enormous contribution” migrants make in the health and social care sector. Find out more.

Can I apply for a Fee Waiver?

Fee waivers, which exempt people from paying either a Home Office Application Fee or The Immigration Health Surcharge (or both) can be applied for in certain situations.

In order to successfully be granted a fee waiver, sufficient evidence must be provided to the Home Office to show that a person cannot afford the Home Office’s fees or are at risk of destitution if they were made to pay the Home Office’s fees. Find out more.

Contact

If you would like us to advise you on your eligibility to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge or would like assistance with any other immigration matters, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0191 232 9547.