IHS, or immigration health surcharge, is a fee that all non-EEA migrants must pay on top of their visa fees in order to come to the UK. If you don’t pay the required amount, your visa will be refused. The UK Government introduced this charge in 2015 in order to give migrants an access to the National Health Service for free.
Presently, the IHS stands at £400 per year for most visa types and £300 for students and Tier 5 migrants. It was announced in the last budget that IHS charge will increase to £624 and £470 respectively in October 2020. Besides, migrants will pay £470 for their children under 18.
Anyone who is coming to the UK for longer than 6 months to work, to study or join their family members. They must also pay the same amount they are paying themselves for their dependants. From October 2020, all minor children will be charged £470 per year.
Do EU nationals have to pay IHS?
From January 2021 Immigration Health Surcharge will apply both to EEA and non-EEA migrants and their dependants.
You can calculate how much surcharge you must pay for yourself and family members by using the official calculator. The amount will depend on your visa validity. For example, a representative of an overseas business must pay £1,200 because his visa is valid for 3 years, and a worker on a 5-year Tier 2 visa must pay £2,000.
Campaigners argue that the IHS is not fair because migrants contribute to the NHS by paying taxes and national insurance contributions. While it is true for the working migrants, it is not the case for unemployed, students and most dependants.
Yes, you still must pay the surcharge as part of your visa application process. Even if you don’t use NHS during the duration of your stay in the UK on a long-term visa, you will not get a refund.
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