ArticleEverything you need to know about IHS in 2024

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a key component of the UK visa application process, often raising questions among applicants about its purpose, cost, and payment methods. Commonly referred to as the NHS surcharge, the IHS is an additional fee on top of the standard Home Office immigration fees, earmarked specifically for the National Health Service (NHS). This charge plays a crucial role in the UK immigration system, ensuring that migrants contribute to the healthcare services they may use while in the UK.

  • Who Pays the IHS?
    • The IHS applies to most individuals and their dependants seeking entry or leave to remain in the UK under the domestic Immigration Rules, unless the visa is for six months or less. This includes applicants from both inside and outside the UK, with exceptions for short-term visitors and fiancé(e) visa applicants.
  • Exemptions from the IHS:
    • Certain groups are exempt from paying the IHS. These include diplomats, members of visiting armed forces, certain dependants of UK and foreign armed forces personnel, asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking or domestic abuse, and those applying under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge:
    • As of 6 February 2024, the standard IHS fee is £1,035 per person per year, with a reduced rate of £776 per year for children, students, and Youth Mobility visas. The total charge is calculated based on the length of the visa, rounded up to the nearest half-year.
  • When and How to Pay:
    • The IHS must be paid at the time of visa application submission. With the majority of immigration applications now online, the payment process for the IHS has been integrated into the application system. Applicants are directed to a payment page for the IHS before proceeding to the visa application fee. Payment can be made using a credit or debit card, except for applicants from North Korea, who can pay in cash.

Understanding the nuances of the IHS in 2024, including who needs to pay, how much, and the payment process, is essential for anyone planning to apply for a UK visa. With these insights, applicants can ensure a smooth application process.

Get in touch:  For a comprehensive understanding of your options or queries on UK immigration matters, reach out to GigaLegal at 02074067654 or click here to book a no-obligation consultation with an immigration expert.