UK Government plans to double the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee for migrants

It has been announced today that the UK Government plans to double the Immigration Health Surcharge (“IHS)” fee that is paid by migrants who are coming to the UK for more than 6 months to access the treatment on the National Health Service (“NHS”). In order to determine whether you have to pay the IHS fee and how much you need to pay, contact our specialist Immigration Team to book a consultation and discuss the IHS fee and your UK visa application with our Solicitor.    

What is the IHS fee?

The IHS was introduced by the Home Office on 6 April 2015 and applies to temporary, non-EEA migrants who are coming to the UK for more than 6 months. Payment for IHS is collected by the Home Office and goes directly to the NHS.

Applicants applying online through the Premium Visa Service Centre will pay the IHS as part of the application when booking the Premium Visa appointment. For those applying by post, the IHS must be paid online before the application is submitted. The IHS reference number will need to be included in the application form and sent to the Home Office. Applicants should bring their Biometric Residence Permit (“BRP”) with them when they access healthcare in the UK.

Why is the UK Government planning to double the IHS fee?

The IHS fee depends on the type of visa that the Applicant is applying for. Currently, the IHS fee for Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) (“YMS”) visa Applicants is £150 per year and for all other UK visa Applicants is usually £200 per year. The IHS fee is also applicable to all dependants applying with the main Applicant. The exact amount can be calculated by using the online IHS calculator.

However, Government Ministers have today announced plans to increase the IHS fee for Tier 5 (YMS) visa Applicants to £300 per year and £400 per year for all other UK visa Applicants. The main reason for the hike in the IHS fee is to combat the rise of ‘Health Tourism’ in the UK.

The Health Minister, James O’Shaughnessy, has said that;

“Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers. We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but it is only right that they make a fair contribution to its long term sustainability.”

Furthermore, by increasing the IHS fee, the UK Government says that an extra £220 million will be available to support the NHS, and this fee will better reflect the actual costs of migrants using the NHS.

Who is exempt from paying the IHS fee?

The following UK visa Applicants do not need to pay the IHS fee under the following circumstances:

  • Applying for a visitor visa or a visa valid for a period of 6 months or less;
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain;
  • If the Applicant is a diplomat or a member of a visiting armed forces and is therefore not subject to immigration control;
  • If the Applicant is a family member of a European national with European Union treaty rights;
  • Applying for a visa for the Isle of Man or Channel Islands;
  • If the Applicant is a British Overseas Territory citizen resident in the Falkland Islands;
  • If the Applicant is an asylum seeker or applying for humanitarian protection;
  • If the Applicant or their dependant has been identified as a victim of human trafficking;
  • If the Home Office’s domestic violence concession applies to the Applicant or their dependant; and
  • If being made to leave the UK would be against the Applicant’s rights under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

If you are making a UK visa application and need advice regarding the UK’s IHS fee, then contact LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors today and speak to a member of our Immigration Team.

Using Legal Representation to submit UK Visa Applications with the IHS fee

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct a legal representative to submit your UK visa application.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.

This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successful UK Visa Applications with the IHS fee

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your applications before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration or visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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