UK Immigration Health Surcharge Fee Price Hike Delayed

UK Immigration Health Surcharge Fee Price Hike Delayed

The Immigration Health Surcharge increase, initially planned for January 16, 2024, has been postponed due to a Parliamentary debate.

The government’s planned hike to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is now due to be implemented on 31 January 2024 at the earliest.

This delay provides a brief window of opportunity for those needing to submit visa applications at the current, lower rates.

The IHS is a fee that most migrants coming to the UK must pay to access free healthcare on the NHS for the duration of their stay.

Whether you need to pay the IHS depends on the type of immigration permission you are applying for. You will usually need to pay the surcharge if you’re applying for a visa or immigration application:

  • for more than 6 months, if you’re applying outside the UK
  • for any length of time, if you’re applying inside the UK.

You do not need to pay if you’re applying for a visitor visa or to remain in the UK permanently. There is also no Immigration Health Surcharge for those claiming asylum or applying for entry clearance or permission to stay under the Ukraine Scheme. A complete list of those who are not affected by the rise in the Immigration Health Surcharge can be found on the government website.

The IHS is mandatory for individuals who qualify and must be paid even if they have private medical insurance.

What are the new IHS fees?

Under the proposed changes, the annual IHS will surge from £624 to £1,035 for adults, and from £477 to £776 for children. 

The new fees will represent a significant increase in the overall cost of securing a UK visa.

The fee must be paid for each year of your stay and also applies to any accompanying dependants. The overall cost will therefore vary depending on the length of your visa and how many dependents (if any) are included in your application.

If you do not pay the IHS, your application will be considered invalid and will not be approved.

If you apply from within the United Kingdom, your application will be denied within 10 working days, and if the application was filed outside the United Kingdom then your application will be refused within 7 working days.

Making an Early Application

If you plan to apply for a visa soon, it's advisable to explore the option of submitting an early application to benefit from the current lower fees.

Before submitting an early application, make sure that you can still meet the requirements of the specific visa category for which you are applying.

For example, the earliest acceptable application window for a Skilled Worker visa is three months before the anticipated start date of your work in the UK, as specified on your certificate of sponsorship.

Have you submitted your visa application? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or a visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

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