The Immigration Health Surcharge is to increase from £400 to £624 in October 2020.
The rise was announced in the Budget on 11 March. An accompanying policy costings statement says:
This measure increases the Immigration Health Surcharge from the current level of £400 per year to £624 per year for each surcharge liable non-EEA temporary migrant (including dependants). The measure also increases the discounted rate for students, their dependents and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme from £300 to £470. The surcharge will also be set at £470 for all children under the age of 18.
This will be implemented in October 2020 and expanded to include temporary migrants at the increased rate from January 2021.
What is the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)?
The IHS is a fee levied on most inbound UK visa applications. It is in addition to other Home Office fees. It is also referred to as the NHS surcharge. The purpose of the IHS is to source additional funding for the NHS from inbound migration.
Who has to pay the IHS?
The IHS has to be paid by the majority of applicants and their dependents who wish to come to the UK for more than 6 months. Applicants for limited leave to remain (those already residing in the UK and seeking an extension of stay) are also required to pay, even if extending for less than 6 months.
In practice, many employers cover the IHS when they sponsor foreign skilled workers to take UK based roles. The financial impact can be significant, especially when combined with other costs such as the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) and Home Office processing fees.
In January 2021 EEA citizens wishing to enter the UK on a long term basis under the new framework for UK immigration will be required to pay the same fees and charges as citizens from the rest of the world. Employers will wish to start planning now, where possible, for increased immigration budgets from 1 January 2021.