Unfortunately, the pause button on the NHS fee increase will not hold for long; the new publicised legal amendment tabled in parliament (The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018) confirms that the Immigration Health Surcharge is to double in December 2018.
According to the Home Office announcement published on the 11th of October 2018:
“The proposals would see the surcharge increase from £200 to £400 per year for non-EU nationals, with students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme on the discounted rate of £300 per year.“
No more Delays…
The Home Office first announced the doubling of the surcharge eight months ago and it was expected that the IHS fee would go up in April 2018, alongside the annual cross-board visa fee increase, but then this did not take place and we all breathed a sigh of relief, as the government seem to press pause amid protests of the proposed increase by migrants.
However, this time the changes, which are meant to take effect from December, seem to return to the government’s original plan.
Well, according to the government, the short answer is that migrants don’t pay enough into the system current to cover the treatments they receive, with a minister quoted as saying;
“The changes better reflect the cost to the NHS of treating those who pay the surcharge, as the DHSC estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating those required to pay the surcharge.”
Maybe I am missing something here, but while currently migrants are paying £200 a year in Immigration Health Surcharge fees, most are also working and paying National Insurance…
The normal exemption will still apply to immigrants who are vulnerable groups, such as asylum seekers, domestic and modern slavery victims and also to persons such as dependants of a member of the UK’s armed forces.
There is also NO Immigration Surcharge for:
- EEA nationals or family members of a European national with European Union treaty rights
- Persons applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain
- Visas for 6 months or less from outside the UK
Put in your application now…
It goes without saying that if you are about to put in an application and you can submit it now, then don’t wait…as effectively the total application fees are about to go up.
E.g: currently a Spouse visa application from the UK would cost you: Application fee £1033 + IHS Fee £500= £1533, but from December 2018 the new fees for the same application would be £1033+IHS Fee £1000=£2033.
The government seem very keen to make sure that immigration to the UK is increasingly limited by the depths of one’s pocket, with fees increasing to unaffordable new highs.
Update !Immigration health surcharge to double from 8 January 2019
After some delays in coming into force these new changes are now rumoured to kick in on from 8 January 2019 which is 21 days from which the enabling The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018 was made on 18th December 2018.
Citation, commencement and interpretation1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018 and comes into force on the twenty-first day after the day on which it is made.
If you can put in your application before then then you may save yourselves a few pounds otherwise please budget for this in your next application
IF YOU HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY ANY UK IMMIGRATION MATTER, PLEASE CONTACT SOLICITOR TITO MBARITI, A UK IMMIGRATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS SOLICITOR, FOR A FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION ABOUT YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS. CALL 07544 669131/01163800744 OR ON SKYPE: TITO.MBARITI.