What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is an annual fee paid by the vast majority of non-EEA nationals who apply for leave to remain in the UK. The fee is essentially a healthcare charge that must be paid in order for non-EEA nationals to access the National Health Service (NHS).
Because the IHS forms part of the visa application process, failing to pay the fee will result in an incomplete application. The charge applies to all non-EEA nationals who are applying for limited leave to remain in the UK for a period of more than six months. As a result, those applying for Visitor Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), British Citizenship are exempt from the charge.
The IHS was introduced by the UK government in April 2015 as a way of ensuring that all migrants made a contribution to the NHS. Initially, it was £200 per year, before doubling to £400 in January 2019. On 1 October 2020, the IHS will increase again, this time to £624 per year.
It is important to note that a new discounted rate of £470 for children will be introduced to account for the increased financial impact on family groups.
Apply before the increase
If you are planning to submit a UK Visa application in the near future, it is strongly advised that you do so before 1 October 2020, as this will mean you only need to pay the current IHS fee of £400 per year.
In order to submit your application as soon as possible, it is vital that you check your eligibility and compile your portfolio of supporting documents.
Whilst the exact documents you need to submit depend on the visa you are applying for, the following are required for all applications:
- Your passport or any other valid personal ID, which must have at least a blank page;
- Two photographs;
- Proof you have adequate financial means to support yourself and your family or your business while in the UK;
- Proof that you have paid your visa fees.
Once your documents have been compiled and your application form has been submitted, you will need to await the UKVI’s decision. The processing time will depend on the visa you are applying for.
How we can help
The Immigration Advice Service has a wealth of experience in assisting with all manner of applications, and has a proud track record of securing approvals for our clients.
We understand the importance of submitting your application before the IHS increases. If you opt for our help, will ensure that your application is correct, and your documents well-organised.
We also offer a fast-track application service that ensures the process is completed as quickly as possible.
Get in contact today on 0333 305 9375 for more information.
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