- The proposal made to double the Immigration Health Surcharge payable by non-EU visa applicants.
- Surcharge payable by all applicants including those with private health insurance.
- The move will help fund the National Health services in the UK
You need to pay more UK visa fee if you are planning to visit the UK. Anyone applying for a UK visa must pay an application fee. This is used to cover the administration costs of handling visa applications. In addition to this, anyone applying for a visa to stay in the UK for more than 6 months at a stretch must also pay an Immigration Health Surcharge.
This allows them to access the National Health services while they are in the UK. If the parliament approves, this fee may be increased from December 2018.
UK Visa Statistics 2017
In 2017, 2.7 million visas were granted by the UK. Of these, over 2 million visas were granted to visitors while the remaining were granted to people wanting to stay in the UK as students, workers or to reunite with their families. Indian and Chinese nationals accounted for around 46% of the visitor visas granted.
|Type of Visa||Number of Visas Granted|
|Family related visas||134,857|
UK Visa Fee – What is the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)?
The IHS was introduced in 2015. This is payable by all non-EU immigrants in the UK who apply for a student, work or family related visa to stay in the UK for more than 6 months. Even if the applicant has private medical insurance, this fee must still be paid. People applying for visitor visas and a visa for less than 6 months are exempted from this surcharge.
Paying this surcharge allows immigrants to use the National Health Services available in the UK in the same way as regular citizens of the UK. There are a number of free health services available under this program. However, some services like prescriptions, eye tests, dental treatment etc., may still need to be paid for.
UK Visa Fee – Proposal for Increased Surcharge
A proposal has been made to double the HIS payable from December 2018 onwards. This will lead to an increase in the overall visa fee payable by students, professionals and all non-EU nationals seeking a visa for more than 6 months.
|Type of Visa||Surcharge Currently Payable||Proposed Increase|
This move will help the NHS raise about £220 million in funds. A lack of funding is one of the biggest issues facing the NHS today.