ArticleEverything you need to know about IHS increase

The much-debated increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) in the UK, initially expected to be implemented by mid-January 2024, is now set for a House of Commons debate on 10 January 2024. With this development, the earliest possible date for the new IHS fee rates to take effect has been pushed to 31 January 2024 or possibly early February.

Understanding the IHS increase:

The IHS is a mandatory fee paid during the electronic submission of a visa application. It is designed to cover the cost of NHS healthcare services for migrants in the UK. Under the proposed Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2023, a significant hike is on the horizon. The main IHS rate for UK immigration applications is set to soar by 66%, jumping from £624 to £1035 per applicant for each year of leave granted.

Simultaneously, the discounted IHS rate – applicable to children, students, their dependents, and youth mobility workers – is also expected to increase from £470 to £776 per year per applicant.

Applicants are required to pay half the yearly amount if their visa duration includes part of a year less than six months, while a full year’s fee is payable if it includes more than six months.

Can I avoid the increased HIS fees?

The new IHS rates will apply to immigration applications made from the date the order is enacted. Prospective applicants are now faced with a narrowing window to submit their applications under the current lower rates. In certain situations, applicants might be able to expedite their submission process to avoid the impending hike.

Given the impending changes and their potential impact on the finances of applicants, it is advisable to seek legal counsel. An immigration expert can provide guidance tailored to individual circumstances, helping applicants navigate the timing of their submissions to circumvent the increased fees without jeopardising their immigration status or history.

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.