The UK government has increased the Immigration Health Surcharge for UK visas submitted from 27th October 2020.
What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?
The Immigration Health Surcharge is a fee that an applicant must pay when applying for a UK visa to work, study or join family in the UK for a period of more than 6 months.
Furthermore, applicants must pay this fee every time they extend or renew their visa.
However, applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (also called settlement), applications under the EU Settlement Scheme and applications for British citizenship are not subject to this fee.
Why UK visa applicants must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?
Applicants must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge to cover the costs of the NHS. In fact, the UK government justifies this fee by stating that applicants have access to the range of NHS services, at the same level and cost than a person settled in the UK or a British citizen.
However, applicants cannot decide to not access the NHS services in order to avoid paying the Immigration Health Surcharge. Unfortunately, the Immigration Health Surcharge is compulsory, and an application will be invalid should the applicant decide to not pay the fee.
How much should an applicant pay?
The Immigration Health Surcharge was previously £400 per person and per year of the visa. It has now been increased to £624 per person and per year of the visa.
It is cheaper for applications for student visas, Youth Mobility Scheme visas and minor, where the fee is £470 per person and per year of the visa.
Importantly, applicants working in the health and care sector will be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge as follows:
- Applicants and their dependants under the Tier 2 (General) Health and Care visa do not have to pay the fee when applying for their visa.
- Applicants under other categories of visas but who work in the health and care sector will need to pay the fee when applying for their visa, but they can claim reimbursement of this payment.
You can calculate how much you must pay by following this link: https://www.immigration-health-surcharge.service.gov.uk/checker/type
This increase of the Immigration Health Surcharge is particularly not welcomed in the current climate. Visa applicants can feel ripped off by this high fee, especially when they do not or barely use the NHS services. Moreover, this fee is in addition to other Home Office fees which makes applying for a UK visa very expensive and favour wealth over personal circumstances.
Should you wish to discuss your UK immigration matters, please contact our expert team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via https://bararassociates.com/