Virginia, US

Mar 12 2020

Immigration Health Surcharge to Increase in October

United Kingdom

At a Glance

  • Effective October 1, 2020, the Immigration Health Surcharge – a mandatory fee that applies to all foreign nationals staying in the United Kingdom for at least six months – will increase to GBP 624 per year, up 56 percent from the current amount.
  • The discounted rate for students, their dependants and Youth Mobility Scheme applicants will increase to GBP 470, up 56.7 percent from the current amount.

The situation

The UK government has confirmed that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), a mandatory fee that applies to all foreign nationals staying in the United Kingdom for at least six months, will increase effective October 1, 2020.

A closer look

The charge will increase as follows:

  • Standard rate. The IHS will increase to GBP 624 per year, up from GBP 400 per year, for non-EU/European Economic Area nationals and their dependents successfully applying to enter the United Kingdom for six months or more, or applying to extend their stay.
  • Discounted rate. The IHS will increase to GBP 470 per year, up from GBP 300 per year, for students, their dependants, Youth Mobility Scheme applicants and children under 18.
  • EU/European Economic Area nationals. As a reminder, effective January 1, 2021, EU/European Economic Area nationals applying under the new UK immigration system must pay the IHS, among other visa fees.

 

Impact

Sponsoring employers who pay this charge on behalf of their workforce should budget for the substantial increase in overall cost.

Background

Paying the IHS allows visa holders to access the National Health Service (NHS), the UK’s health care system, similar to UK nationals or permanent residents. The IHS must be paid at the start of a visa application process and is reimbursed for unsuccessful applicants.

The IHS was introduced in April 2015, with gradual increases and expansion to more nationalities and permit types. Fees were last increased in January 2019, when the IHS was doubled.

The current increase was announced during the 2019 election and seeks to align the IHS with the average cost of the NHS.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].