From 6th April 2015 when applying for leave to remain or entry clearance, you may need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa application. You still need to pay even if you have private medical insurance.
You will be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, however, you will still need to pay for certain types of services, for example, prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests.
Your information will be shared with the NHS in England if:
- you’ve paid the healthcare surcharge (or are exempt from paying it)
- your visa or immigration application is granted
You should bring your Biometric Residence Permit with you when you access healthcare in the UK.
Who must pay?
The Immigration Health Surcharge applies to everyone wanting to extend their visa in the UK or apply for entry clearance from overseas. Students applying for the 11 month Short-term study visa for an English language course are liable to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. The charge does not apply to anyone applying from overseas for a visitor visa or any visa that lasts for 6 months or less but you will have to pay for NHS treatment if you use it.
You will need to pay this charge as part of your online visa application. You will be contacted by UK Visas and Immigration if you didn’t pay the surcharge (or didn’t pay enough) as part of your visa or immigration application.
Your visa application will be turned down if you don’t pay the full amount:
- within 10 working days if you’re inside the UK
- within 7 working days if you’re outside the UK
**PLEASE NOTE** The IHS will increase to £776 per year for Students and their dependants in January 2024. For other categories, it will increase to £1,035 per year.
The cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge depends on how long your leave to remain or enter will be. For Students and their dependents, it will be £470 per year. If the length of your visa includes part of a year that is six months or less you will be charged an additional £235 for this period. If the length of your visa includes part of a year that is more than six months you will be charged £470. For other categories, for example, Graduate visa, Start-up visa, Skilled Worker, and their dependents, it will be £624 per year.
Your visa or immigration application won’t be granted if you don’t pay the healthcare surcharge or your application will be delayed if you don’t pay the right amount.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR EU AND SWISS NATIONALS
From 1 January 2022 EU and Swiss nationals can apply to get the money they paid for the IHS. This is called an IHS reimbursement.
Please make sure you read all the Government guidance first before deciding whether to apply as reimbursement will affect how much free health care you can receive in the UK as well as your right to work.
For further details see the Gov.UK website