New higher NHS Surcharge from January 2024

Recently on 4th October 2023 the new immigration fees started to apply. This increase did not include the NHS Surcharge fees but in mid September Home Office indicated that the NHS Surcharge fee changes will be announced later in autumn. In mid October 2023, there is an update that the new NHS Surcharge fees will start to apply from January 2024.

Draft Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2023

In mid October 2023 'Draft Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2023 (by Act), with an Explanatory Memorandum (by Command) (Secretary Suella Braverman)' was laid before UK Parliament.

According to this 'Draft Immigration (Health Charge) order 2023', the new increased NHS Surcharge is due to start applying on or around 16th January 2024.

What are the new NHS Surcharge fees

The current standard NHS Surcharge fee for adult applicants in most visa categories is £624 per year and is due to rise to£1,035 a year. NHS Surcharge for children, students and youth mobility visa applicants, who currently qualify under the lower NHS Surcharge fee of £470 per year, the NHS Surcharge fee is going to increase to£776 per year.

As an example, currently the NHS Surcharge for spouse entry clearance visa is £1,872, so after the changes it will increase to £3,105.

Impact on UK visa applicants

The impact of the NHS Surcharge increase on UK visa applicants will be significant. The already high immigration fees are due to become significantly higher. Most visa categories are subject to the upfront NHS Surcharge payment requirement. The exception is Health and Care visa, visitor visas and visas with duration under 6 months.

Those applicants who qualify for UK visa and are planning to apply in the near future, should consider making their application before January 2024 to avoid the new increased NHS Surcharge fees.

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.