A Complete Guide to the UK Immigration Health Surcharge

04 Mar 2023
A Complete Guide to the UK Immigration Health Surcharge | Abroad Cube

What is IHS UK?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee that most non-EEA nationals who come to the UK for more than six months must pay as part of their visa or immigration application. The UK government introduced it in April 2015, and its purpose is to help fund the National Health Service (NHS) for those who use it during their stay in the UK.

The surcharge is currently set at £470 per year for Tier 4 student visas and £624 annually for other visas. The surcharge is paid upfront as part of the visa or immigration application process, and it covers the applicant's use of the NHS while they are in the UK.

Once paid, the surcharge allows the individual to access NHS services like a UK resident, including consultations with general practitioners, hospital treatment, and emergency care. However, it does not cover all medical costs, such as prescriptions, dental treatment, or optical care.

It's important to note that some individuals, such as those applying for asylum or some family members of EEA nationals, are exempt from paying the IHS. You must apply for IHS Reference Number without payment if exempt from IHS Fee. 


What is the UK IHS Fee for Students?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee for students in the UK varies depending on the length of their course of study. As of March 2023, the IHS fee for students is £470 per year of student study. For example, an undergraduate student studying a three-year course must pay £1,645 (£470 x 3 + £235) for the IHS. An additional £235 is for the extra 4 months after the course ends. 

The student only needs to pay for IHS if the course duration is more than 6 months. However, if the course length is more than 1 year and less than 18 months, they are required to pay £470 + £235 = £705 only. If the course duration is 1 year, you have to pay for 18 months, equal to £705, because your visa starts 1 month before the course start date and should cover additional 4 months after the course end date. 

Duration Total Calculation
1 year £705 £470 + £235 = £705
1 year 6 months £940 £470 x 2 = £940
2 years £1175 £470 x 2 + £235 = £1175
3 years £1645 £470 x 3 + £235 = £1645
4 years £2115 £470 x 4 + £235 = £2115

The student's dependants, such as spouse and children, must pay the same amount as the student for IHS.

It's important to note that the IHS fee is paid upfront as part of the visa application process and must be paid for the entire duration of the student's course of study. 


How to pay for UK Immigration Health Surcharge?

To pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge and receive an IHS Reference number for your Visa application, use the official payment service of UKVI. You must pay for IHS Fee as part of the Visa application or while booking an appointment. You can make the payment online using a Credit or Debit Card. The IHS Reference number will be automatically added to your Visa application once you complete the payment. 


What documents are required to apply for UK IHS?

To apply for an Immigration Health Surcharge outside of the UK, you will need the following documents.

  1. An Email Address
  2. A Valid Passport
  3. Credit/Debit card


Is IHS mandatory for UK Study Visa?

Yes, Immigration Health Surcharge in the UK is mandatory for International Students unless they are exempted. The students travelling from India must pay for IHS before applying for a Visa Application. If, in case, you forgot to pay for IHS before Visa Application, you will be asked to complete the payment within 7 days of receiving the email. To process your application smoothly, please pay the IHS upfront and submit the IHS Reference number along with the UK Visa Application. 


How to get a Refund for IHS?

An applicant is eligible for a full refund of the IHS Fee under the following cases

  1. double payment
  2. the visa application is refused
  3. you have withdrawn your visa application before the final decision

You might be eligible for a partial refund if you get less time on your visa than you requested or if any dependants on your visa application were refused. No refund will be possible if a student decides not to come to the UK after getting Visa approval or you leave the UK before your visa ends. 

If you are eligible for a full or partial refund, it will be automatically processed within 6 weeks into the same mode of payment. 

Please Login to post a Comment
Sikha Babu 9 months ago

I have applied for my spouse and child dependent visas. While applying, it didn't give us an option to pay for the IHS. After a few days of the VFS appointment, I received email to make payment for my spouse's application. But I haven't received the payment request for my child. We applied priority visa and now confused on how to complete the payment. Can someone please help????

Adrian Kakinda 9 months ago

Hello, for three days..my payment has been declined 15 times, after using two different email addresses, three different Debit Cards...How can I be helped

The service provider back home here,doesn't seem to help

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