Insights

Nighat Sahi

Published 19 July 2023
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Immigration Health Surcharge Payments to Increase

The Immigration Health Surcharge is paid as part of a UK visa application. It allows the visa holder to use the NHS whilst in the UK for the permitted purpose of the visa.

On 13 July 2023, the UK Government announced that the surcharge will increase by 66%, from £624 to £1,035 per person per year for most main applicants. The discounted rate will also increase from £470 to £776 per child or student per year. These increases are on top of the visa application fees which are also set to increase by at least 15%.

Since the Immigration Health Surcharge was introduced in 2015 (when it was just £200) it has been increased a number of times already.

Who do the increases apply to?

Not everyone will be subject to the increases which will depend on the immigration route taken. For example, visitor visas, applications for indefinite leave to remain, Health & Care Worker visas, and applications for a visa for 6 months or less are not affected.  Similarly, applications under the EU Settlement Scheme or for British Citizenship will not be affected.

When do the increases come into effect?

The Government has yet to confirm when the above increases will come into effect.

Comment

The Government has justified the increases on the basis that the funds raised will be used to pay for public sector wage increases. However, there has already been a strong reaction to the news, not least because migrant workers already have National Insurance contributions deducted from their salaries at source and therefore are effectively being taxed twice.

The effects of the increases will also be felt by employers and businesses employing foreign nationals and consideration will need to be given to both budgets and any claw-back provisions. A claw-back requires migrant workers sponsored as a Skilled Worker under the points-based system to repay some, or all, of the fees paid by the employer.

This is an area which is ever-evolving and complex, so please get in touch if you’d like to discuss any immigration-related issues.

Nighat and her team can be contacted on:  020 3988 0170 or by email at nighat@rswlaw.co.uk / harriet@rswlaw.co.uk

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