The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a mandatory fee of £470 per year, charged to visa applicants who plan to stay in the UK for more than six months.
The charge is to ensure that temporary migrants contribute to the cost of the National Health Service (NHS). The money collected is not a visa application charge and will go to the NHS, not the UKVI.
Applications for a visa for less than six months are not subject to this charge.
Australian, New Zealand nationals, as well as British Nationals Overseas Territories Citizens resident in the Falkland Islands are not subject to the charge.
Citizens of all other countries applying for a visa for the UK are affected. This includes EU/EEA/Swiss citizens: however, if your residency in the UK started before 31 December 2020, you will not need to apply for a student visa or pay the IHS.
Applications for a visa for less than six months are also not subject to this charge.
You will need to pay £470 per year, as will each of your dependants. The IHS payment is a requirement of the visa application. You pay the IHS for the whole duration of your stay in the UK upfront.
You can calculate your IHS before making your visa application, using the UKVI’s online tool.
All students that have paid the immigration health charge will be eligible for NHS treatment in the same way as permanent UK residents. This means most treatment is free. However some services such as dental treatment and prescription charges are not covered. Find out what treatments are covered by the NHS.
Yes, the IHS is mandatory.
If your visa is refused, the UKVI should automatically refund the IHS charge. Refunds usually take 28 days to be processed.
If you change your mind and decide not to come to the UK, the IHS charge will not be refunded.
No, the IHS will not be refunded if you do not use the NHS.
If your new period of permission overlaps with the permission that you were previously granted, you will be entitled to a refund for this overlapping period of time. This will only be the case if you have paid the surcharge twice for the same period of time.