Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

An immigration health charge came into force on 6 April 2015.

You usually need to pay the healthcare surcharge if you’re applying for a visa or immigration application for more than 6 months.

You do not need to pay if you’re applying for a visitor visa or to remain in the UK permanently.

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you only need to pay if you’re applying to come to the UK from 1 January 2021. The charge does not apply to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members who have settled status (indefinite leave) or pre-settled status (limited leave) under the EU settlement scheme or who are eligible to apply for immigration permission under this scheme (the deadline for making an application is 30 June 2021). 

What is the charge for?

The charge is a contribution to the cost of the National Health Service (NHS). The money collected is not a visa application charge and will go to the NHS, not the UKVI.

How much will I need to pay?

Students will need to pay £470 per year, as will each of their dependants (family members coming to or remaining in the UK with Student visa dependant leave).

This charge will be applied when a visa application is made and calculated based on the maximum length of time the visa could be granted for. Check how much your IHS will be.

Does everyone need to pay this charge?

Applications for a visa overseas for less than 6 months are not subject to this charge. Australian, New Zealand nationals, as well as British Nationals Overseas Territories Citizens resident in the Falkland Islands are also not subject to the charge. Read more information about who needs to pay.

What is covered by the immigration health surcharge?

All students that have paid the immigration health surcharge will be eligible for NHS treatment in the same way as permanent UK residents. This means most treatment is free, however some services such as dental treatment and prescription charges are not covered. See more information on what is covered.

If my visa application is refused, will I be refunded the immigration health surcharge?

The Home Office have said that the charge will be automatically refunded to any student whose visa application is refused.

If I change my mind after my visa has been granted and decide not to come to the UK, will I be refunded?

No, the charge will not be refunded in these instances. View more information about IHS refunds.

Do I still have to pay the charge if I have private medical insurance?

Yes, the immigration health surcharge is mandatory for all relevant students. If you choose to take out additional private medical insurance, the immigration health surcharge will not be refunded.

Can I pay in instalments?

No, the full cost of the immigration health surcharge is payable upfront at the time of applying for a new visa.

If I never use the NHS during my time as a student, will the charge be refunded to me?

No, the charge will be applied regardless of how often and how extensively the NHS has been used by the individual.

I have already studied in the UK for a significant length of time; do I need to pay for the time I have already studied?

No, the charge will not be applied retrospectively.

You can find more information provided by the Home Office in the factsheet.

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