UK Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) refunds promised

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has been criticised for not scrapping the mandatory Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) payment for migrant NHS workers. However, during a recent questions session, the Prime Minister has pledged to refund migrant NHS workers who have paid the fee since 21 May 2020.

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge is a financial contribution to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). The Immigration Health Surcharge was introduced in April 2015 and has been regularly increased. The IHS started off at £200 per year and currently stands at £400 per year. The policy reasons behind the IHS was to have a fair system for all by asking migrants to contribute to help fund the government-backed health care system. The legal basis of the charge can be found in the Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018.  

Who has to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?

Visa applicants applying for UK visas are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge during the submission of their visa application. You cannot submit an application without paying the fee. All dependents on the visa application must also pay the fee. 

Who will get an Immigration Health Surcharge refund?

Migrant NHS workers will be issued with Immigration Health Surcharge refunds. During a questions session on 17 June 2020, the Prime Minister faced several tough questions from opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer and was criticised for not acting in implementing the Immigration Health Surcharge exemption for NHS workers. The Prime Minister confirmed he was working to drop the fee as soon as possible and stated:

 “vital people who are working on the front line and NHS workers in particular get the support they need”.

“That’s why I said what I said a few weeks ago, and what I can tell him is NHS or care workers who have paid the surcharge since 21 May will be refunded, and we’re getting on with instituting the new arrangements as fast as we possibly can,”

However, the Prime Minister failed to mention when the refund policy will be introduced and what the procedure will be in applying for a refund. 

How much is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

As it stands, the current Immigration Health Surcharge fee is £400 per year and this is confirmed in the Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018. In order to calculate the exact amount for your application, you must multiply the number of years on your visa by £400. For example, if you are applying for a 30-month further leave to remain visa you would need to pay £1,000 (£400 x 2.5 years). You can use the IHS online calculator if you are unsure. Tier 4 Students and Tier 5 Youth Mobility applicants are required to pay a reduced fee of £300 per year. 

The Home Office has announced that the Immigration Health Surcharge is set to increase to £624 per year from October 2020. However, there will be a discounted rate for children at £470.

When do you stop paying the Immigration Health Surcharge?

Visa applicants are required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge until they acquire settled status by applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Therefore, the payment will also be payable for all visa extension application.

Who is exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge?

EU nationals from countries from the European Economic Area are entitled to free access to NHS treatment. However, after 31 December 2020, it is likely that this will change and EU nationals will also have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of their visa application unless they have settled status in the UK. Therefore, EU nationals who are eligible should apply for settled status. Exemptions also apply to the following:

  • If you are applying for a visitor visa;
  • If you are entering the UK as a diplomat or dependent of a member of the UK’s armed forces;
  • If you are a victim of domestic abuse, human trafficking or slavery (also applies to dependents);
  • If you are applying under the Asylum or Humanitarian Protection route; and
  • Some applications made under the European Convention of Human Rights.

If you are unsure whether you should pay the Immigration Health Surcharge you can contact one of our immigration specialist who will be able to assess your case and advise accordingly.

How our immigration solicitors can help with UK Visa applications

Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in visa applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful visa applications for a range of clients. The key to submitting a successful visa application is being aware of the relevant Immigration Rules and submitting the correct supporting documents. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.

Using our Immigration Solicitors to submit UK Visa applications

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application to submit a visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

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, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully submit UK Visa applications

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 prospects of submitting a visa application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of a visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements under the Immigration 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 to discuss a visa application.

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

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