Immigration Health Surcharge

Immigration Health Surcharge

 In addition to the visa application fee, from 6 April 2015 applicants will also be required to pay an immigration health charge (IHS) at the point of submitting their visa application. This is not optional and will apply to all applicants and family members applying to come to the UK as their Dependants. The charge will entitle the visa holder to free health services under the National Health Service (NHS) once inside the UK.

At present the fee is £150 per person per year and will be charged for the maximum period of leave which could be granted under the immigration rules. For example, an Undergraduate student applying for Tier 4 leave to cover a three year course would be subject to a £525 health fee (this is because such students will receive 4 additional months of leave at the end of the course, and the IHS calculation is based on the length of leave, not the length of course).

The fee will apply to all applications made after 6 April 2015, whether inside or outside the UK. Failure to pay the health surcharge will result in the application being refused or returned as invalid.

Since 5 July 2015, the IHS payment function is integrated with the Tier 4 online application form for improved user experience. We are aware of a technial glitch which may have affected some students who submitted their application on 5 and 6 July 2015. If you are affected by this technical issue, please contact the Immigration Service at for more information.

Students who are exempt from this surcharge may still need to submit the form and obtain an IHS reference number. Please check the Home Office guidance.

Students are advised to ensure that in addition to the having sufficient money available to cover the visa application fee, they will also have access to a credit or debit card which can be used to pay the health charge online. There is no requirement to hold the health fee for 28 days or to provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover the health fee in the visa application. However, students using the same account to pay the visa application fee and health charge as they are using to evidence maintenance should ensure that there is enough money available to cover everything.

Posted on: 7th April 2016, by : ICS Legal