Following a recent announcement by the Government we are due to see a substantial increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge fees that are payable by visa applicants in the UK.
This is the first time fees have increased since October 2020 and this will have important implications for anyone applying for permission to enter or remain in the UK in the coming months.
What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a mandatory fee for most visa applicants to enter or remain in the UK. The purpose of IHS is to allow individuals to access the National Health Service in the UK throughout the duration of their visa. This is typically paid in full at the same time as an application fee and is payable per year of permission being sought to remain the UK.
What is Changing?
At the moment, IHS is set to £624 per year for applicants over the age of 18 and £470 per year for children, students, dependents and those applying under the Youth Mobility Scheme route. However, this has now been confirmed to be increasing to £1,035 per year for adults and £776 per year for the second category of individuals.
When will Changes Come into Effect?
The draft legislation implementing this change is yet to be finalised, however it is anticipated that this change will come into force from as early as 16th January 2024, although this may be later depending on when legislation is approved by Parliament. Changes will then apply to all applications made on or after this date.
Advice for Employers in Advance of Changes
As highlighted, this change will see a considerable increase in the costs associated with visa applications in the UK. This will be important for both individuals intending to apply for permission to remain in the UK, as well as employers sponsoring workers in the UK.
Therefore, anyone seeking to make an application around this time may benefit from investigating whether their application can be submitted prior to date the changes come into force as this could provide a significant cost saving.
With thanks to Immigration Lawyer Hannah Gibson, author of this article.
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