The Immigration Health Surcharge will increase from 16 January 2024 at the earliest. The new yearly rate for most affected applicants will jump from £624 to £1,035. Employers and affected applicants should consider applying ahead of the rise where possible.

What is changing?

Subject to limited exceptions, individuals applying for time-limited UK immigration permission are required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). Payment of the charge allows access to the same NHS services that UK residents are allowed to access free of charge.

In July 2023, the Government announced an intention to increase the IHS, however the date of implementation was not stated.

Draft regulations now confirm the following rises will take place from 16 January 2024 at the earliest:

Immigration Category Current IHS per year (GBP) New IHS per year (GBP)
Student, Student dependant, Youth Mobility scheme and applications made by children under 18 on the date of application 470 776
All other relevant immigration categories 624 1035

What should employers and applicants consider in response to this change?

To minimise costs, sponsorship and immigration applications should be made ahead of the rise where possible. Applicants should also consider applying for the maximum immigration permission allowed for their circumstances.

Employers should also take the rises into account when budgeting for immigration-related costs going forward.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.