The increase in Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is expected to take effect on or around 16 January 2024.The payment of the charge is mandatory for migrants who are making application to enter or remain in the UK for a period longer than 6 months. The payment of the charge allows access to the same NHS services as UK residents.

Visa applicants must pay the full amount of the IHS upfront at the time that they make their visa application, covering the duration of stay applied for in the UK.

The Government has confirmed in the draft regulations that the following rises will take place from 16 January 2024 at the earliest:

    • An increase from £470 to £776 per year will apply to Students (and their dependents), Youth Mobility Scheme applicants, and Children under the age of 18.
    • An increase from £624 to £1,035 per year for all other relevant immigration categories.

What does this mean for an applicant applying for permission to remain for 3 or 5 years:

    • 3 years: increase from £1,872 to £3,105.
    • 5 years: increase from £3,120 to £5,175.

It is therefore important to minimise the cost of your application or where you are an employer, the cost of sponsorship, that you file the visa application ahead of the IHS increase where possible. As an employer you should take in to account the rise when budgeting for the cost of sponsorship.

There are limited circumstances where the IHS does not apply:

    • You’re applying for indefinite leave to enter or remain.
    • You’re a health and care worker who is eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa (or you’re their dependant).
    • You’re applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.
    • You’re a diplomat or a member of a visiting armed forces and not subject to immigration control.
    • You’re a dependant of a member of the UK’s armed forces.
    • You’re the dependant of a member of another country’s armed forces who is exempt from immigration control.
    • You’re applying for a visa for the Isle of Man or Channel Islands.
    • You’re a British Overseas Territory citizen resident in the Falkland Islands.
    • You’re an asylum seeker or applying for humanitarian protection (or you’re their dependant).
    • You’re a domestic worker who has been identified as a victim of slavery or human trafficking.
    • You’re applying for discretionary leave to remain in the UK as someone who has been identified as a victim of slavery or human trafficking (or you’re their dependant).
    • The Home Office’s domestic violence concession applies to you (or you’re their dependant)
    • You are being made to leave the UK would be against your rights under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (or you’re their dependant)
    • You’re an S2 Healthcare Visitor.
    • You’re eligible for a Frontier Worker permit and have an S1 certificate.

If you have any queries about the rise in the IHS and how this may affect your visa application, please get in touch with your Paragon Law contact or message us here.

Author: Thalej Vasishta

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