A History of the Immigration Health Surcharge
The Immigration Health Surcharge was introduced in 2015 by the Cameron-Clegg coalition. It was introduced to stop medical tourism (when overseas visitors come to the UK to use free NHS services).
The Home Office stated the reasons for the introduction were to, ‘ensure that migrants make a proper financial contribution to the cost of their NHS care.’ In 2020 when the price was hiked again, they added, ‘This will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS’.
The surcharge was raised to £175 in its first year, with 450,000 surcharge payments being made.
IHS Price History:
|£200||April 2015 (Introduction)||N/A|
|£1035||16 January 2024 or 21 days after||66%|
The IHS currently costs:
- £470 for the Student Visa, Youth Mobility Scheme and for applicants under 18.
- £624 for all other visa types. This price is set to increase to £1035 by the end of the year.
- If you travel to the UK for less than 6 months you do not need to pay the IHS.
- If you are staying in the UK for more than 6 months but less than 12, you must pay for the whole year.
You must pay the surcharge when submitting your online visa application or when booking your appointment.
You must pay for the total amount of years you plan on living in the UK for when applying.
For example, if you are moving to the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa for three years, you must pay £1872 (£624×3) upfront. This is to cover you for the entire time you are living in the UK.
Your visa application will be rejected if you do not pay the sufficient amount.
Applicants will either receive a full, partial or no refund based on their situation.
|Reason||Full refund||Partial refund||No refund|
|You paid twice||✔|
|Your application was rejected||✔|
|You have withdrawn your application||✔|
|Your visa is approved for less time than you initially applied for||✔|
|Your dependents are refused||✔|
|You chose not to come to the UK after your application was approved||✔|
|You decide to leave before your visa expires||✔|
|You are asked/made to leave before your visa expiry date||✔|
|You submit an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain||✔|
All refunds are automatically issued, you do not need to do anything.
If you still require advice, you can call the helpline.
Monday to Friday 8am- 6pm (British Local Time)
0300 330 7693 – inside the UK
+44 191 283 8937 – outside the UK
Get in touch for your FREE 10-minute consultation with one of our experts. We offer help and advice with all UK visa types.
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