In response to the recent agreed pay rise for NHS doctors, the Government announced in parliament on 13 July 2023 that this will be partly funded through an increase in the immigration healthcare surcharge from £624 to £1,035 per year. The discounted rate, relevant for children, students and youth mobility visa applicants will increase from £470 to £776 per year.

What is the immigration healthcare surcharge?

The immigration healthcare surcharge was first introduced in March 2015 and is a requirement for all nationals from outside of Europe coming to live in the UK for longer than six months. Meeting the fee was a prerequisite to submitting a visa application and allowed the visa holder access to the NHS for the duration of their visa. It was noted by the Government at the time that the fees received would go directly to funding the NHS. When it was first introduced, the standard fee was £200 per year and the discounted rate for students was £150 per year.

There was a 100% increase in December 2018, when it was set at £400 per year and £300 per year for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme.

In December 2020 there was a further increase to £624 per year and £470 per year for children, students and youth mobility visa applicants.

Are any UK Visas and Immigration fees increasing?

There will also be an increase in immigration and nationality fees. It has been announced that work and visit visas will rise by 15%. Student visas, settlement, citizenship, entry clearance and leave to remain applications will increase by at least 20%.

From what date will the increases commence?

The exact date the increases will come into force is yet to be confirmed but is likely to be in the near future.

How can we help?

If you are a business owner and you are concerned about how the fee increases will affect recruitment or your current skilled worker workforce, or you are an individual and you have concerns about how the fees will affect you, then please get in contact with our immigration team.

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Calum is an immigration law expert and offers advice to individuals and businesses across a variety of sectors including agriculture, manufacturing and sport.

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Published: 20th August 2023
Area: Business Immigration

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