IHS Fee set
to double

The government has announced it is set to double the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) paid by temporary migrants from outside the European Economic Area.  

Migrants seeking to live in the UK for six months or more will see a rise in the annual surcharge from £200 to £400 per year. The discounted rate for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will also increase from £150 to £300.

First introduced in April 2015, the IHS is payable at the time of filing an immigration application and applicable to all family members seeking to reside in the UK.

Once this increase takes effect, the IHS cost to a family of four securing the right to reside in the UK for 5 years will amount to £8,000.

The upfront charge, along with the associated application processing fee is payable by the migrant. However, if the overseas national is entering the UK to work, the prospective UK employer is also required to pay a skills levy of £1,000 per year.

Whilst the new Immigration Minister,Caroline Nokes, welcomes the increase in the IHS fee and the extra funding it provides to the NHS, the increasing cost associated with UK visa applications is likely to deter more overseas professionals from relocating to this country.

Conversely, at a time when the NHS is seeking to recruit additional skilled health workers, this announcement may also hinder its chances of recruiting professionals from outside the EEA.

Exemptions from IHS charge

Anyone applying for a visitor visa or for a visa for 6 months or less (from outside the UK) does not need to pay the IHS. Details of all exemptions can be found here.

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