Immigration Health Surcharge to double to £400 a year
The Government has announced plans to increase the amount that those on temporary visas will have to pay for using the NHS each year.
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was introduced in April 2015. Currently people from outside the EU applying for a UK visa to work, study or join family in the UK for more than 6 months must pay £200 per year of their visa (so if they apply for a Tier 2 visa that will be valid for 3 years they must pay £600 when they apply for this visa). Students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme pay a reduced rate of £150 per year. Applicants must pay this even if they have private medical insurance, although those applying for settlement are not required to pay.
The Government has recently announced that the IHS will double later this year in order to better reflect the actual costs to the NHS of treating those who pay the surcharge. The IHS will rise to £400 per year (£300 per year for students and Youth Mobility Scheme migrants). So an applicant applying for a Tier 2 visa for 3 years will need to pay an IHS fee of £1,200, in addition to the visa application fee.
No date has been given for the change yet. However, once the rates change, visa applicants and any employers who pick up this cost when sponsoring employees on Tier 2 or Tier 5 visas will need to factor this into the overall cost of applying for a UK visa.
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