A long-awaited proposal to increase the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) in the UK has now been approved by both houses of Parliament and will go into effect starting on 6 February 2024. These changes will increase the IHS from £624 to £1,035 per person per year. The discounted rate which applies to students, their dependants, and Youth Mobility Scheme applicants will increase from £470 to £776 per year. The surcharge will also be set at £776 for all children under the age of 18.
If an employee is coming to the UK for longer than six months, payment of the IHS is mandatory as part of a UK visa application. The IHS fee is commensurate with the length of the visa and the total amount must be paid upfront with the visa application, ensuring that it covers the duration of the visa. As an example, this means that, an employee on a five-year skilled worker visa will have to pay £5,175 per person upfront to cover the IHS in addition to the actual visa fees.
Certain individuals will be exempt from the IHS and able to utilize the National Health Service (NHS) while in the UK if they are:
- Applying for indefinite leave to enter or remain
- A health and care worker who is eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa (or their dependant)
- Applying to the EU Settlement Scheme
- A diplomat or a member of visiting armed forces and not subject to immigration control
- A dependant of a member of the UK’s armed forces
- The dependant of a member of another country’s armed forces who is exempt from immigration control
- Applying for a visa for the Isle of Man or Channel Islands
- A British Overseas Territory citizen resident in the Falkland Islands
- An asylum seeker or applicant for humanitarian protection (or their dependant)
- A domestic worker who has been identified as a victim of slavery or human trafficking
- Applying for discretionary leave to remain in the UK as someone who has been identified as a victim of slavery or human trafficking (or their dependant)
- Eligible for the Home Office’s domestic violence concession (or their dependant)
- Protected by Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and being made to leave the UK would be against their rights (or their dependant)
- An S2 Healthcare Visitor
- Eligible for a Frontier Worker permit and have an S1 certificate
The majority of workers entering the UK on a skilled worker visa or similar scheme will be impacted by this change. The T&S EMEA team will notify impacted clients about additional costs on existing applications and future applications being made in the UK. For more information on this fee increase, please reach out to the T&S EMEA team.