Increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge
Following the Government’s announcement in the summer, of plans to increase the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), the draft Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2023 has been laid before Parliament. If approved by both Houses of Parliament, the fee increase will come into force on 16 January 2024, at the earliest, or 21 days after the Order is made (if later).
The IHS increase follows a host of recent increases to Home Office fees which came into effect on 4 October 2023. Many fees associated with UK immigration and nationality saw an increase of at least 15% in both personal and business immigration categories.
The IHS, introduced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrats coalition in 2014, is a health charge paid by all overseas applicants applying for limited leave in the UK (even individuals who have private medical insurance). The newly announced fees will have a significant impact on those wishing to travel and reside in the UK from 2024. Apart from visitors, all prospective visa applicants will have to pay the charge. The new fees will need to be taken into account both by individuals seeking to come to the UK and by businesses looking to sponsor overseas nationals to work in the UK.
The new IHS fees
The IHS will be increased as follows:
Current Annual Fee
|New Annual Fee
|UK immigration applicants (majority of)
|Students and their dependants, Youth Mobility Scheme applicants, and children
Put into context, from January 2024, an individual looking to be sponsored as a Skilled Worker for a five year period would be subject to an IHS fee of £5,175, compared with £3,120 as of today. For a couple (main applicant and adult dependant), the cost would be £10,350 (up from £6,240) and the cost for a family of four (two adults and two minor children) would increase from £10,940 to £18,110. This is in addition to other Home Office application fees and National Insurance contributions (where individuals are working in the UK).
What do you need to consider?
Businesses and individuals need to be aware of these significant fee changes taking effect in the new year. Ahead of the changes and where possible, it is worth considering progressing visa and/or extension applications at an earlier date than planned in order to avoid incurring higher costs.
For further information on IHS and how we can support you with this, please contact a member of our Immigration team or submit an enquiry form.
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