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Immigration Health Surcharge due to rise imminently

18 January 2024

Substantial rises to the Immigration Health Surcharge have now been approved by Parliament to come into effect on 6 February 2024. Individuals hoping to avoid these should submit their UK immigration application by 5 February 2024 to be sure they are not impacted.

The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2024 was made on 16 January 2024 and will come into effect on 6 February 2024.

The new yearly rate depends on the immigration category the applicant is applying under, as follows:

Applicant type  Immigration Health Surcharge per year before the rise (GBP)  Immigration Health Surcharge per year after the rise (GBP)
Student, Student dependant, Youth Mobility Scheme and children aged under 18 on the date of application 470 776
All other applicants 624 1,035

The impact on a Skilled Worker applying for with a Certificate of Sponsorship issued for five years is illustrated below.

Scenario  Immigration Health Surcharge before the rise (GBP)  Immigration Health Surcharge after the rise (GBP)
Main applicant only 3,432 5,692.50
Main applicant with partner dependant 6,864 11,385
Main applicant with partner dependant and one child 9,449  15,653
Main applicant with partner dependant and two children 12,034 19,921

Note that in the above illustration, the Immigration Health Surcharge is calculated based on the length of the immigration permission granted, rounding up in six-month increments. Because sponsored workers are granted immigration permission for slightly longer than their Certificate of Sponsorship, a worker sponsored for five years will pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for five-and-a-half years rather than for five. The illustration also assumes that dependants apply at the same time as the main applicant.

Whether to apply before the rise will depend on a range of factors including the following:

  • Whether the applicant is exempt from paying the charge (in which case there is no need to apply earlier);
  • The availability of a certificate of sponsorship (for sponsored work routes);
  • The start date of a sponsored role, which must not be more than three months after the date of application; and
  • How the timing of an application may impact on the expiry date of the permission granted, and therefore whether the holder will have sufficient permission to apply for settlement if desired, or will have to apply for a further extension – in this case a calculation would need to be made to determine the likely timelines for application processing and what is the least costly process.

If you require assistance with an application or have queries about this development, please get in touch with a member of our Immigration Team.

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