The Government has recently announced that the Immigration Health Sucharge (IHS) will double later this year in order to better reflect the actual costs to the NHS of treating those who pay the surcharge. The IHS will rise to £400 per year (£300 per year for students and Youth Mobility Scheme migrants). So an applicant applying for a Tier 2 visa for 3 years will need to pay an IHS fee of £1,200, in addition to the visa application fee.
No date has been given for the change yet. However, once the rates change, visa applicants and any employers who pick up this cost when sponsoring employees on Tier 2 or Tier 5 visas will need to factor this into the overall cost of applying for a UK visa. Click here for further information.
Ministers have pledged to recoup £500m a year from overseas patients by 2017/18. Recent measures include pledges to enforce “upfront” charges for temporary visitors, after efforts to chase bills after treatment had limited success. Latest figures show £358 million was collected from overseas patients in 2016/17, including £210m from the immigration health surcharge. The surcharge is paid when immigration applications are made. Those paying it are then exempt from NHS charges for treatment which temporary visitors have to pay.