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NHS Fees for Spouse Visa

If you’re applying for a UK Spouse visa, you will also have to pay some additional fees (NHS Surcharge) in order to have access to the NHS while in the UK.

For more information about Spouse or family visas, the costs and requirements needed for them, and the NHS immigration health surcharge fee, reach out to us on 0333 4149244, or contact us online today.

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Overview of the NHS Immigration Health Surcharge for Spouse Visa

The UK Spouse visa is a type of Family visa that allows foreign nationals to come and settle in the UK with their British spouse or partners.

Like most other UK visas, there are a number of costs and fees associated with obtaining a Spouse visa.

One of these is the National Health Service (NHS) immigration health surcharge (IHS), which is paid in instalments of £1,035 a year.

The NHS immigration health surcharge is a fee that Spouse visa applicants, other UK visa applicants, and applicants’ dependents, must pay in order to access NHS services while in the UK. It is a non-optional fee that must be paid as part of the visa application process.

You will only be able to access the NHS for free when you successfully apply for permanent settlement in the UK, also known as indefinite leave to remain. For Spouse visa holders, this will normally be after a period of 5 years.

Who Has to Pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?

Anyone applying from outside the UK to enter the country for a period of time 6 months or more must pay the NHS surcharge. Spouse visa applicants, therefore, must pay the surcharge.

Short-term visitors, such as those on a standard Visitor visa or a Fiance visa, do not need to pay the surcharge as their visa does not allow them to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months.

Applicants applying from inside the UK will also normally have to pay the Spouse visa NHS entitlement. This is even if they’re applying for a period of leave shorter than 6 months (applicants in the UK applying for leave to remain for less than 6 months have to pay half the yearly cost for the IHS).

All making visa and immigration applications who need to pay the surcharge for UK’s national health service as part of their visa application must do so, even if they:

  • Already have private health insurance
  • Are not planning to take medical treatment or advantage of, or use, NHS services

What Does the Immigration Health Surcharge Cover?

After you pay the immigration health surcharge, obtain your Spouse visa and come to the UK, you will have access to most NHS medical services.

The health surcharge covers things such as:

  • GP services and appointments
  • Accident and emergency hospital treatment
  • Minor injury treatment in clinics
  • Specialist or Consultant services if you’ve been referred by your GP
  • Maternity services
  • Sexual health and contraception services

However, it’s important to note that some things aren’t covered by the surcharge. These include:

  • Prescriptions
  • Dental care
  • Eye care

You may have to pay additional costs and fees to access these particular services while in the UK.

How Much is the Surcharge for Spouse Visa Applicants?

Immigration Health Surcharge Fees for Adults

The NHS immigration health surcharge costs a flat £1,035 a year for all adult Spouse visa applicants.

This means that Spouse visa applicants will pay a different amount for the immigration health surcharge depending on how long they stay in the UK for.

All initial applications for a Spouse visa will be valid for 2 years and 9 months.

If you extend your Spouse visa or switch to the Spouse visa from another UK visa, it will be valid for 2 years and 6 months.

The total costs for each period of time are listed below:

Period of time in UK on Spouse visa Total cost of Immigration Health Surcharge (for adult applicants)
2 years and 6 months£2,587.5
2 years and 9 months£2,846.25
5 years£5,175

Immigration Health Surcharge Fees for Dependent Children

Any dependents that you bring to the UK under your Spouse visa must also pay the immigration health surcharge.

The NHS immigration health surcharge costs a flat £776 a year for each dependent child under the age of 18 on a Spouse visa application.

For dependent children over 18, the cost is the same for adult applicants.

The total costs for each period of time are listed below:

Period of time in UK on Spouse visa Total cost of Immigration Health Surcharge (for each dependent child)
2 years and 6 months£1,940.1
2 years and 9 months£2,134.11
5 years£3,880.2

Contact us today if you require assistance with paying your immigration health surcharge for your Spouse visa.

How Do I Pay the Surcharge?

All UK Spouse visa applicants must pay the immigration health surcharge online as part of the visa application process.

You will normally have to pay the surcharge directly before you pay your visa application fees. You will be redirected to a page during the application process where you can pay the fee before being returned to your visa application form.

You must complete the payment and return to the online immigration application in less than 30 minutes.

After you pay the fee and submit your visa application, you will be sent an email with your IHS reference number.

You will need your IHS reference number after you arrive in the UK and start to access NHS services, such as when you register with a GP or seek hospital treatment.

Can I Get a Refund on my Immigration Health Surcharge Fee?

Speak to our immigration team if you have any concerns.

You can get a refund on your IHS fee if any of the following circumstances apply to you:

  • You accidentally paid the fee twice
  • Your Spouse visa application has been refused
  • You want to withdraw your Spouse visa application

You may be eligible for a partial refund if your Spouse visa has been approved but:

  • You’ve received less time on your visa than you initially applied for
  • Any dependents on your Spouse visa application have been refused

If you’re due for a refund or a partial refund for any of the above reasons, you won’t have to do anything to receive your refund. The fee will be automatically paid back into the account or card that you paid with in the application process.

When Can I Start to Use the NHS?

You will be able to start using NHS services when both of the following apply:

  • You’ve paid the immigration health surcharge
  • Your Spouse visa application is approved

Note that when you start to access NHS services in the UK, you may have to present your biometric residence permit or your online immigration status through a share code. Which one you’ll have will depend on the method in which you verified your identity in the Spouse visa application process.

You may also need to give your IHS reference number.

You will normally receive your refund within 6 weeks of receiving the decision on your visa. However, this may take longer if you have sought to appeal your Spouse visa refusal or if you’ve applied for an administrative review.

You may also be eligible for a refund if you work in health and care. If this applies to you, then you will have to apply to UK Visas and Immigration directly to receive your refund.

Note that you will not receive a refund for the IHS fee if any of the following apply:

  • Your Spouse visa application is successful, but you don’t end up coming to the UK
  • You leave the UK before your visa expires, such as if you wish to make a new application
  • You’re told to leave the UK before your visa expires

How Can IAS Help?

When applying for your Spouse visa, it’s important not to overlook the importance of the immigration health surcharge as an integral and necessary part of your application. It is a mandatory fee that must be paid by all Spouse visa applicants as a prerequisite to getting your visa application approved.

If you’re applying for a Spouse visa and have any more questions, concerns or queries about the immigration health surcharge, the Spouse visa application process, or coming to the UK in general, IAS can help.

We are expert immigration lawyers and advisers who have years’ worth of experience helping people like yourself successfully obtain visas to come and settle in the UK under the immigration rules.

We can help you navigate the challenges of applying for UK visas, including guiding you through all of the fees, costs and charges that you need to pay. We can also give you step-by-step guidance on how to complete applications as accurately as possible in order to maximise your chances of getting approved for a Spouse visa.

IAS can also help you with any concerns you might have about using the NHS and paying the immigration healthcare surcharge fee, including any worries you might have about how to pay it, or how much you have to pay for you and your dependents. As different visa applicants need to pay different fees for the IHS, it’s important to know how much you have to pay. For example, Youth Mobility Scheme visa applicants can benefit from a discounted IHS fee.

For more information about the services we offer, and how we can help with your Spouse visa application, get in touch with us today on 0333 4149244, or contact us online.

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