If you are coming to the UK for 6 months or longer, you will be required to pay a fee known as Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) in order to access any healthcare services offered by the National Health Service (NHS). The fee is paid in addition to the application fee.
The IHS must be paid by you and your dependants at the time of applyingfor a visa lasting six months or longer to enter the UK. For example, a visitor or fiancée application will not require payment of IHS as the visa is for six months only. For majority of the applications submitted in-country, the IHS will be payable even if leave is to be granted for less than 6 months.
How much is the Immigration Health Surcharge?
The current fees (subject to change) are as follows:
- £470 per year for a student or Youth Mobility Schemevisa, for example £940 for a 2-year visa
- £470 per year for visa and immigration applicants who are under the age of 18 at time of application
- £624 per year for all other visa and immigration applications, for example £3,120 for a 5-year visa
If length of visa will be more than six months but less than a year, the fee for the full year will be charged.
Unless an exemption applies, payment of fee is not optional and must be paid even if you have private health insurance or do not anticipate using the NHS.
Who is exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge?
If you fall under once of the following categories, you don’t have to pay the IHS:
- you’re applying for indefinite leave to enter or remain
- you’re a health and care worker who is eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa(or you’re their dependant)
- you’re applying to the EU Settlement Scheme
- you’re a diplomat or a member of a visiting armed forces and not subject to immigration control
- you’re a dependant of a member of the UK’s armed forces
- you’re the dependant of a member of another country’s armed forces who is exempt from immigration control
- you’re applying for a visa for the Isle of Man or Channel Islands
- you’re a British Overseas Territory citizen resident in the Falkland Islands
- you’re an asylum seeker or applying for humanitarian protection (or you’re their dependant)
- you’re a domestic worker who has been identified as a victim of slavery or human trafficking
- you’re applying for discretionary leave to remain in the UK as someone who has been identified as a victim of slavery or human trafficking (or you’re their dependant)
- the Home Office’s domestic violence concessionapplies to you (or you’re their dependant)
- being made to leave the UK would be against your rights under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (or you’re their dependant)
- you’re an S2 Healthcare Visitor
- you’re eligible for a Frontier Worker permitand have an S1 certificate
If you’re a child under 18 who has been taken into care by a local authority; a relevant civilian employee at NATO or the Australian Department of Defence in the UK or their dependant, you will need to obtain an IHS reference number from the payment service, but you will not need to pay the fee. The online service will automatically generate an IHS reference number without a payment. You will be able to use the NHS even if you are exempt from paying the fee.
Will the IHS be refunded if an application is refunded?
If your application is refused, your IHS will be fully refunded. Refunds are normally processed within 6 weeks of receiving the decision but can sometimes take longer and you might need to get in touch with UKVI. If you submit an appeal or ask for an administrative review, the fee will not be refunded until the proceedings have concluded.
You will not receive a refund if your application is successful, but you do not come to the UK or you leave the UK before your visa expires.
How can Mulgrave Law assist?
For any queries regarding the Immigration Health Surcharge or any query related to a UK visa application, contact our team of expert immigration lawyers, Solicitors at Mulgrave Law.
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