What is the change? The United Kingdom will increase the immigration health surcharge (IHS) from £400 to £624 per year.

What does the change mean? Starting in October, applicants applying for visas for longer than six months must pay the increased surcharge. Children will be subject to a new discounted rate of £470. The IHS for students and Youth Mobility Scheme applicants will also increase from £300 to £470.

  • Implementation time frame: October 2020.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas for stays longer than six months in the U.K.
  • Business impact: Companies that pay the surcharge for employees and their family members should plan for significant increased costs. Employers are not reimbursed if the employment relationship ends before the full term.

Background: The U.K. introduced the immigration health surcharge in April 2015 to help cover costs of non-EEA expatriates’ use of the National Health Service. In January of last year, the surcharge was doubled from £200 to £400. The upcoming increase represents a 56% hike.

Analysis & Comments: The fee increase will mean a single applicant could be paying £3,120 for the IHS. Companies that cover the IHS on behalf of employees and their dependents should budget for the increases, which must be paid up front for each individual for the full duration of the visa at the time of application. This will also apply to EEA nationals upon the introduction of the new immigration system in January 2021.

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