Immigration Health Charge

An immigration health charge came into force on 6th April 2015. Non-EEA nationals coming to the UK for longer than six months are subject to the charge.

What is the charge for?

The charge is to ensure that temporary, non-EEA migrants to the UK contribute 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 £300 per year, as will each of their dependants (family members coming to or remaining in the UK with Tier 4 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. For example, if applying for a Tier 4 visa with one dependant for a three year undergraduate course, a health charge of £1800 will be made. If studying for part of a year, then half of the yearly fee will be charged for the partial year of study. For example a course that lasts 16 months studied by a student with no dependants, will be subject to a £450 charge.

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. All other non-EEA nationals applying for a visa for the UK are affected.

What is covered by the Immigration Health Surcharge?

All students that have paid the immigration health charge 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. Please see the link here for more information on what is covered.

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

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 my health charge be refunded?

No, the charge will not be refunded in these instances.

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 charge 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 a factsheet here and Frequently Asked Questions.

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