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Immigration Health Surcharge to increase in early 2024

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced in 2015 and is an additional charge for migrant workers, entitling them to free NHS healthcare.

The charge is mandatory and must be paid by those applying for a visa or immigration application:

  • for more than six months (if applying outside the UK); or
  • for any length of time (if applying inside the UK).

What is changing?

The draft change in legislation has been laid before Parliament and will increase fees from:

  • £470 to £776 per year for students, student dependants, Youth Mobility Scheme workers and children under 18 on the date of the application; and
  • £624 to £1,035 per year for all other relevant immigration categories.

The changes are due to come into force on the later of 16th January 2024 or the twenty-first day after the day on which the order is made. The order still needs to be approved by the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Who will this impact?

This increase will affect all individuals and especially families looking to relocate, as the IHS must be paid for each dependant as well as the main applicant. It will also impact employers who cover their employees’ fees. Due to the substantial rise, employers may wish to reassess their budgets and re-think their recruitment plans.

To avoid having to pay a higher charge, we recommend completing applications in advance of 16 January 2024, where possible.

For further information and advice about issues relating to the above, please refer to our specialist immigration team.