Immigration Health Surcharge set to increase from £200 to £400 a year
Immigration Health Surcharge – IHS planned to double from £200 to £400 a year.
The UK government has announced plans for increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) from £200 to £400 a year.
Immigration Health Surcharge or IHS is the UK healthcare charge that non-EEA migrants need to pay as part of their immigration application process.
IHS was introduced by the UK government in April 2015 urging migrants to make a fair contribution towards the costs of National Health Services (NHS). Initially, migrants outside of the EEA applying for more than six months of UK stay had to pay additional fees of £200 per year along with their application.
The plan to double the IHS was revealed in a recent publication from the department of health and social care. The report mentions that the surcharge will rise from £200 to £400 per year with changes coming later this year.
Although the date for the changes hasn’t been specified yet, the plans are expected to be implemented by the end of this year.
It’s estimated that the increase in IHS will increase the NHS funding with additional £220 million a year. According to the department’s estimates, the NHS spends around £470 a year on average per IHS paying migrant.
The UK government report also includes additional quotes from the UK Immigration and Health ministers justifying the IHS increase and their views on how it can prove beneficial for the NHS services.
James O’Shaughnessy, the Health Minister has been quoted in the publication saying “Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers. We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but it is only right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability.”
The annual NHS charges hike has been criticised across several media publications arguing how it doesn’t solve the real problem to suggesting why it can be actually bad for the NHS.
If you have any queries related to IHS or your UK immigration application, feel free to contact our experienced Immigration lawyers based in London.