Unfortunately, the short relief from the government not increasing the visa application fees for 2020/2021 is due to give way to crushing disappointment later this year, after Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget was presented to Parliament on the 11th of March 2020. He has announced a new increase to the Immingration Health Surcharge (IHS) later this year, which will see the overall price of immigration to the UK increase significantly. The government has now drafted legislation – The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2020 – to pave way for the coming changes.
When and how much?
The D-Day for the new fees, according to the draft legislation, is the 1st of October 2020.
Generally, the IHS fee will go up from £400 per year to £624 per year for each non-EEA temporary migrant (including dependants). However, there are variations, with for the first time a distinction being made between adult and child applicants; see the below table for a full summary:
|Student Visas (from UK or Abroad)
|£300 Per year
|£470 Per Year
|Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Temporary Migrant
|£300 Per Year
|£470 Per Year
|All other applications for entry clearance or leave to remain by person aged 18 years or over at the date of the application
|£400 Per Year
|£624 Per Year
|All other applications for entry clearance or leave to remain by person aged under 18 years or over at the date of the application
|£400 Per year
Less for children but unaffordable for many
It is encouraging to see that the increase on children’s applications has been kept to a minimum, although the overall price for family remains unaffordable for many.
For example: Under the Current Fees, a British national sponsoring a settlement visa (UK Spouse Visa and Dependant Child Visa) from abroad for a non-EU wife and step child would pay £5,446 (i.e. application fee of £1523 x 2 and IHS fee £1200 x 2). After 1st October 2020 and under the new fees, a British national sponsoring a settlement visa (UK Spouse Visa and Dependant Child Visa) from abroad for a non-EU spouse and step child would pay £6,328 (i.e. application fee of £1523 x 2, and IHS fee £1,410 for child and £1,872 for spouse).That is a difference of £882 and that amount is without any legal fees included.
Disproportional contribution by migrants
As the NHS continues to be a national treasure and do a fantastic job, especially in this time of a world-wide epidemic, hammering migrants with unaffordable fees will be bound to put off many of the “brightest and best” doctors and nurses from coming to join the NHS.
Also, the government’s previous justification that such migrants would in other countries be required to pay private insurance, is beginning to be less convincing, with reports that the “four largest UK Health Insurers – BUPA, AXA, Aviva and Vitality” quote prices of between £26 and £48 per month, or £312 and £576 per year, for private health insurance cost per person.
Of course , as we are not advocating for private insurance, and believe we ALL need to support the NHS, but is is notable that these insurance premiums can be paid in affordable monthly instalments, as opposed to in a huge lump-sum when you apply for a visa.
Apply now or save up for the extra fees
If you can put in your application before the fees come in, then you may save yourselves a few pounds, otherwise please budget for the increases in your next application.
Please feel free to share and comment to raise awareness of these issues. Also, if you have been affected by any of these immigration rule changes and need a quick chat with a UK Immigration Solicitor, do not hesitate to contact Tito Mbariti for a free one-off, no-obligation general immigration advice consultation via either phone, facetime, Skype or Face to Face.Tito Mbariti is a solicitor specialising in UK immigration, European Law and Human Rights law at Cross Border Legal Ltd in Leicester, he has been practising immigration law for several years with clients from various parts of the globe. He is a strong advocate of Human Rights for all, passionate about voicing important issues affecting migrants and their families in the UK. Tito is the founder and editor of Cross Border Legal, a UK Immigration and Human Right law blog.