The U.K. Parliament officially approved a new law increasing immigration health surcharge fees, effective Feb. 6.

Key Points:

  • As BAL previously reported, the increases were announced in July and were originally expected to come into force on Jan. 16.
  • The surcharge will increase from £624 to £1,035 (about US$1,313) per person per year. The rate for children and students will increase from £470 to £776 a year.

Background: The surcharge was first introduced in April 2015 and pertains to most visa applicants seeking to remain in the U.K. for more than six months. It does not pertain to visitors or to those applying to remain in the U.K. permanently. The 66% increase to the health surcharge is an element of a broader strategy to increase fees to help fund pay raises for certain public sector jobs. As part of that effort, on Oct. 4, work and visit visa fees increased by 15%, family visas and settlement and citizenship visas by 20% and student visas by 35%.

BAL Analysis: The delayed effective date for the increase is welcome news for applicants. Businesses may see a slight increase in costs because of the new IHS fees. Employers should take the new fees into account when planning their 2024 budgets and may wish to submit visa applications prior to Feb. 6.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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