The UK government is planning a significant increase in the UK Immigration Health Surcharge. The increase will place a heavy financial burden on UK visa applicants when it takes effect. The increase is presumably intended to fund pay raises for public-sector doctors in the UK. However, the UK government has since backtracked on its intent behind the increase. You can read more on the Immigration Health Surcharge at this link.
How much will the increase in IHS be?
The immigration health surcharge (IHS) will rise from £624 to £1,035 per person per year. The IHS is paid by visa applicants staying for six months or more, as well as the family members of migrants and British citizens.
The discounted rate for student visa applicants, children, and youth mobility visa holders will increase from £470 to £776 per person per year.
When will the Increase in the Health Surcharge take Place?
The Immigration Health Surcharge Amendment Order was laid before Parliament earlier in October 2023. This order must now be approved by both Houses of Parliament before the increase can take place. The draft order states that the commencement will be the later of 16 January 2024 or the 21st day after the day on which the order is made.
Breytenbachs can thus assure clients that the increase will not come into force any earlier than 16 January 2024. However, there could also be a delay in the increase if the approval by Parliament is delayed.
Breytenbachs will keep clients updated as more information becomes available.
Recommended Actions by Breytenbachs on Increase in Immigration Health Surcharge
Considering the drastic increase in the IHS, Breytenbachs offers two recommendations:
Firstly, applicants who can and wish to apply for a UK visa should do so promptly. Any upcoming extension applications should also be made if your current immigration status and route to settlement will allow for this.
Secondly, considering the increasing costs, applicants should be aware of the potential financial loss if their applications are unsuccessful. It would thus be wise to instruct Breytenbachs to ensure a successful visa outcome.
Contact Breytenbachs to Prepare and Submit Your UK Visa Application
It is crucial that clients contact Breytenbachs without delay to prepare and submit their UK Visa applications before the impending Health Surcharge increase. With an expected influx of visa applications at the UK Home Office, applying as soon as possible is vital. Contact us today for a timely and well-prepared application, ensuring success.