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Controversial Immigration Health Surcharge Fee Increase and Budgetary Concerns

Not long after the recent increases to UK visa and sponsorship fees in October 2023, again there will be another significant increase, this time with the Immigration Health Surcharge (‘IHS’), scheduled to take effect from 16 January 2024, pending Parliament approval.

The proposed increase to the IHS has raised concerns, especially among businesses who financially support their sponsored workers’ visa applications and are already feeling the strain due to rising costs caused by inflation.

What is the IHS?

The Immigration Health Surcharge, which funds access to the NHS for migrants, is required for most UK visa applications, payable alongside the visa application fees.

Individuals who typically qualify for an exemption from IHS payment include visitors to the UK, applicants under the EU Settlement Scheme, and those who have applied under the Health and Care provisions. The Home Office has confirmed that NHS staff and their dependants will continue to be exempt from the IHS. The IHS has remained unchanged since October 2020, and the Home Office attributes the proposed increases to the rising cost of healthcare provision and the additional pressures on the NHS resulting from population growth driven by migration.

For adult applicants, the annual IHS fee will increase to £1,035 per year, marking a 66% increase from the current £624 per year. Similarly, children and student applicants, along with their dependents, will witness a 65% increase, bringing the annual fee to £776 per person per year, up from the current £470.

Monica Mastropasqua

Paralegal

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+44 20 7539 8021

The IHS surcharge, coupled with other proposals and visa fee increases, is positioned as a means to cover the costs associated with this pay rise.

Budget Revisions for Businesses

These significant fee hikes necessitate a re-evaluation of budgets and application strategies for businesses using or intending to use the UK immigration/sponsorship system. The sudden increase places an added burden on companies seeking to employ foreign nationals, prompting a need for careful financial planning and potential adjustments in workforce mobility plans.

In response to the fee escalation, businesses may explore the possibility of facilitating in-house employee transfers to different roles or increase migrant recruitment before the increase to capitalise on the current IHS rates. By taking proactive measures, companies may mitigate the financial impact of the fee hike and navigate the evolving immigration landscape more effectively

Government Strategy and Public Sector Strikes

The IHS fee increase is part of a broader government strategy. Amid persistent strikes by public sector workers, the UK government, in mid-2023, granted key public sector workers a wage increase averaging 6.5% for the year 2023/24. The IHS surcharge, coupled with other proposals and visa fee increases, is positioned as a means to cover the costs associated with this pay rise.

Having received approval from UK Parliament, the IHS fee increase is expected to take effect on 16 January 2024.

The controversial Immigration Health Surcharge fee increase introduces a new dynamic to the UK immigration system, prompting businesses and individuals alike to reassess their financial strategies and immigration plans. As the effective date draws near, companies must stay informed and adapt to the evolving regulatory environment to navigate the challenges posed by these substantial fee hikes.

About this article

Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Monica Mastropasqua

Paralegal

View profile

+44 20 7539 8021

About this article

Immigration Fee Surcharge – October 2023

Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Visit visa – short up to 6 months£100£115£15
Visit visa – long up to 2 years£376£400£24
Visit visa – long up to 5 years£670£771£101
Visit visa – long up to 10 years£837£963£126
Visiting academic – more than 6 months but no more than 12 months£200£200£0
Private medical treatment visa – more than 6 months but not more than 11 months£200£200£0
Transit visa (direct airside transit)£35£35£0
Transit visit visa (landside transit)£64£64£0
Visa for the purpose of joining a ship or aircraft as a member of the crew of that ship or aircraft£64£64£0
Electronic Visa Waiver£30£30£0
Single-entry visa to replace a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)£154£154£0
Certificate of Entitlement Nationality Right of Abode (outside the UK)£388£388£0
Transfer of Conditions (Vignette Transfer) application made overseas£154£154£0
Other visa£531£637£106
Hong Kong British National (Overseas) for 30 months – main applicant and dependants£180£180£0
Hong Kong British National (Overseas) for 5 years – main applicant and dependants£250£250£0
Route to Settlement£1538£1846£308
Route to Settlement – other dependant relative£3250£3250£0
Route to Settlement – refugee dependant relative£388£404£16
Indefinite leave to enter the UK as the dependant of a member of the armed forces under Appendix Armed Forces to the Immigration Rules£2404£2885£481
Indefinite leave to enter the UK as a foreign or Commonwealth citizen discharged from HM Forces under paragraph 13 of Appendix Armed Forces to the immigration rules£2404£2885£481
Call out/ out of hours fee (per hour/part hour) – service of consular officers£142£142£0
Receiving, preparing and forwarding documents – consular functions£141£141£0
Administrative review£80£80£0
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Innovator Founder – main applicant and dependants£1036£1191£155
Endorsement fee under Innovator Founder route (payable to endorsing body) excluding VAT£1000£1000£0
Start-up – main applicant and dependants£378£435£57
Approval letter from a competent body in respect of an initial application for Global Talent£456£524£68
Global Talent – main applicant – where Approval Letter is required£167£192£25
Global Talent – main applicant – where Approval Letter is not required£623£716£93
Global Talent – dependants only£623£716£93
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – dependants only£623£716£93
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) – dependants only£1036£1191£155
Tier 1 (Investor) – main applicant and dependants£1638£1884£246
Skilled worker, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less – main applicant and dependants£625£719£94
Skilled Worker, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years – main applicant and dependants£1235£1420£185
Skilled Worker – shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less – main applicant and dependants£479£551£72
Skilled Worker, shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years – main applicant and dependants£943£1084£141
Skilled Worker – Health and Care Visa – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less [footnote 2] – main applicant and dependants£247£284£37
Skilled Worker – Health and Care Visa – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years [footnote 2] – main applicant and dependants£479£551£72
Skilled Worker – Shortage Occupation – Health and Care Visa – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less [footnote 2] – main applicant and dependants£247£284£37
Skilled Worker – Shortage Occupation – Health and Care Visa – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years [footnote 2] – main applicant and dependants£479£551£72
T2 Minister of Religion – main applicant and dependants£625£719£94
International Sportsperson where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for 12 months or less – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
International Sportsperson where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over 12 months – main applicant and dependants£625£719£94
Temporary Work – Seasonal Worker, Religious Worker, Charity Worker, Creative Worker, International Agreement, Government Authorised Exchange and Youth Mobility Scheme – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Representative of an overseas business – main applicant and dependants£625£719£94
Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker – up to 3 years – main applicant and dependants£625£719£94
Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker – more than 3 years – main applicant and dependants£1235£1420£185
Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Global Business Mobility – Secondment Worker – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Scale-up – main applicant and dependants£715£822£107
High Potential Individual – main applicant and dependants£715£822£107
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Student – main applicant and dependants£490£490£0
Child student£490£490£0
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Priority Visa service – Settlement£573£500-£73
Priority Visa service – Non-Settlement£250£500£250
Super Priority Visa service£956£1000£44
User Pays Visa Application service£55£76.50£21.50
The provision of an immigration officer to provide any premium service relating to entry into or transit through the United Kingdom (per hour per officer)£77.40£77.40£0
International Contact Centre – Email Service (per query)£2.74£2.74£0
International Contact Centre – Telephone Helpline (per minute)£0.69£0.69£0
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Super Priority service£800£1000£200
Expedited processing – Priority service£500£500£0
On-Demand service (Mobile Biometric Enrolment) (per hour per representative of the contractor providing the service)£650£650£0
The provision of an immigration officer to deliver any premium service, to a Government Department, relating to entry into or transit through the United Kingdom£57.33£57.33£0
The provision of an immigration officer to deliver any premium service, relating to entry into or transit through the United Kingdom (per hour per officer)£77.40£77.40£0
Premium status checks and advice – Administrative Officer (per minute)£0.80£0.80£0
Premium status checks, advice or training – Executive Officer (inside office hours) (per minute)£0.88£0.88£0
Premium status checks, advice or training – Executive Officer (outside office hours) (per minute)£1.10£1.10£0
Premium status checks, advice or training – Higher Executive Officer (inside office hours) (per minute)£0.97£0.97£0
Premium status checks, advice or training – Higher Executive Officer (outside office hours) (per minute)£1.23£1.23£0
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Registered Traveller (Adult) – Yearly Subscription (per year)£50£50£0
Registered Traveller (Child) – Yearly Subscription (per year)£24£24£0
Registered Traveller – Registration of New Documents£20£20£0
Fast Track – Heathrow£5.20£5.20£0
Fast Track – Other ports of entry£3.00£3.00£0
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Innovator Founder – main applicant and dependants£1292£1486£194
Endorsement fee under Innovator Founder route (payable to endorsing body) excluding VAT£1000£1000£0
Start-up – main applicant and dependants£508£584£76
Approval letter from a competent body in respect of an initial application for Global Talent£456£524£68
Global Talent – main applicant – where Approval Letter is required£167£192£25
Global Talent – main applicant – where Approval Letter is not required£623£716£93
Global Talent – dependants only£623£716£93
Graduate Route – main applicant and dependants£715£822£107
Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) – dependants only£623£716£93
Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) – main applicant and dependants£1292£1486£194
Tier 1 (Investor) – main applicant and dependants£1638£1884£246
Skilled Worker, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less – main applicant and dependants£719£827£108
Skilled Worker, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years – main applicant and dependants£1423£1500£77
Skilled Worker, shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less – main applicant and dependants£479£551£72
Skilled Worker, shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years – main applicant and dependants£943£1084£141
Skilled Worker – Health and Care Visa – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less – main applicant and dependants£247£284£37
Skilled Worker – Health and Care Visa – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years – main applicant and dependants£479£551£72
Skilled Worker – Shortage Occupation – Health and Care Visa – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less – main applicant and dependants£247£284£37
Skilled Worker – Shortage Occupation –Health and Care Visa – where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years – main applicant and dependants£479£551£72
T2 Minister of Religion – main applicant and dependants£719£827£108
International Sportsperson where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for 12 months or less – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
International Sportsperson where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over 12 months – main applicant and dependants£719£827£108
Temporary Worker – Seasonal Worker, Religious Worker, Charity Worker, Creative Worker, International Agreement Worker, Government Authorised Exchange Worker and Youth Mobility Scheme – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Representative of an overseas business – main applicant and dependants£719£827£108
Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker – up to 3 years – main applicant and dependants£719£827£108
Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker – more than 3 years – main applicant and dependants£1423£1500£77
Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Global Business Mobility – Service Supplier – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Worker – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Global Business Mobility – Secondment Worker – main applicant and dependants£259£298£39
Scale-up – main applicant and dependants£715£822£107
High Potential Individual – main applicant and dependants£715£822£107
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Student – main applicant and dependants£363£490£127
Child Student£363£490£127
Short term student studying English language for more than 6 months but not more than 11 months£200£200£0
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Visitor Extension – main applicant and dependants£1000£1000£0
Leave to enter for persons in the UK who are liable to immigration detention£1048£1258£210
Leave to remain– Other£1048£1048£0
Hong Kong British National (In-country) for 30 months – main applicant and dependants£180£180£0
Hong Kong British National (In-country) for 5 years – main applicant and dependants£250£250£0
Processing an application which is subsequently rejected as invalid£25£25£0
Indefinite leave to remain – main applicants and dependants£2404£2885£481
Replacement Biometric Residence Card (issued under the EU Settlement Scheme) which has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed£19£19£0
Replacement Biometric Residence Permit which has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed£19£19£0
Travel Document – Certificate of travel – adult£280£280£0
Travel Document – Certificate of travel – child£141£141£0
Travel Document – Convention travel document – adult£75£82£7
Travel Document – Convention travel document – child£49£53£4
Administrative Review£80£80£0
Life in the UK test£50£50£0
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Naturalisation (British citizenship)£1250£1500£250
Naturalisation British overseas territory citizens£1000£1000£0
Nationality registration as a British citizen – adult£1126£1351£225
Nationality registration as a British citizen – child£1012£1214£202
The arrangement of a citizenship ceremony (including the administration of a citizenship oath and pledge at the ceremony).£80£80£0
The administration of a citizenship oath, or oath and pledge where the oath, or oath and pledge, are not administered at a citizenship ceremony or by a justice of the peace.£5£5£0
Nationality registration – British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – adult£901£901£0
Nationality registration – British overseas territory citizen, British overseas citizens, British Subjects, British protected persons – child£810£810£0
Renunciation of nationality£372£372£0
Certificate of Entitlement Nationality Right of Abode (In the UK)£372£372£0
Nationality review£372£372£0
Status Letter (Nationality)£250£250£0
Non-acquisition Letter (Nationality)£250£250£0
Nationality correction to certificate£250£250£0
Nationality – supply of a certified copy of a notice, certificate, order or declaration£250£250£0
Nationality reissued Certificate£250£250£0
Fees categoryCurrent FeeNew Fee from 4th October 2023 Fee Change
Premium Sponsor Service (12 months) Worker sponsor and Temporary worker sponsor – large sponsors£25000£25000£0
Premium Sponsor Service (12 months) Worker sponsor and Temporary worker sponsor – small sponsors£8000£8000£0
Premium Sponsor Service (12 months) Student sponsors£8000£8000£0
The expedited processing of a sponsorship management request made by a Worker sponsor or Temporary worker sponsor£200£200£0
Priority service for expedited processing of sponsor licence applications£500£500£0
Worker sponsor licence (large sponsor )£1476£1476£0
Worker sponsor licence (small sponsor)£536£536£0
Student sponsor licence£536£536£0
Temporary Worker sponsor licence£536£536£0
Worker and Temporary Worker sponsor licence (large sponsor)£1476£1476£0
Worker and Student sponsor licence (large sponsor)£1476£1476£0
Worker, Temporary Worker and Student sponsor licence (large sponsor)£1476£1476£0
Temporary Worker and Student sponsor licence£536£536£0
Worker sponsor licence (large sponsor), where sponsor currently holds a Temporary Worker and/or Student Sponsor Licence£940£940£0
Endorsement fee for a Scale-up sponsor licence under Endorsing Body Pathway (payable to the endorsing body) excluding VAT£1500£1500£0
Student sponsor basic compliance assessment£536£536£0
Sponsor action plan£1476£1476£0
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS): Skilled Worker, T2 Minister of Religion, Global Business Mobility – Senior or Specialist Worker£199£239£40
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) – Temporary Worker including Global Business Mobility – Graduate Trainee, UK Expansion Worker, Service Supplier and Secondment Worker route, and Scale-up route£21£25£4
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for International Sportsperson route – Over 12 Months£199£239£40
Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for International Sportsperson route – Up to 12 months or less£21£25£4
Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS) for student, child student£21£25£4

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