What is the healthcare surcharge?
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee levied on most UK visa applications. The IHS is on top of your visa application fee.
If you are applying from outside the UK, you are not required to pay the Healthcare Surcharge if the length of your visa will be six months or less. If you are applying within the UK, you will be required to pay the Healthcare Surcharge regardless of how long you are applying for your visa.
If you have your own private medical insurance, you must still pay the surcharge, even if you do not intend to use the National Health Service (NHS).
The healthcare surcharge must be made in one payment at the time of the visa application and cannot be paid in instalments.
Cost of healthcare surcharge
The healthcare surcharge is £470 a year for Student visa applicants, Dependants of students, and Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa holders.
Student visa applicants can calculate how much is your healthcare surcharge using this calculator. Please budget to also pay for any additional time issued on your visa - most students will have a wrap-up period of 4 months.
For Start-Up Visa applicants, the healthcare surcharge is £624 a year.
For Graduate Route visa applicants, this will depend on the length of your visa if your application is successful. For 2 year visas the surcharge will be £1,248 while for 3 year visas the surcharge will be £1,872.
If your healthcare is paid for by an EU country or Switzerland
If you have an S1 certificate
You may get a full or partial IHS refund if you have an S1 certificate registered with the NHS Business Services Authority.
If you are a student
You can apply for a full or partial IHS refund if all of the following statements are true:
- you are a full-time student in UK higher education
- your visa started on or after 1 January 2021
- you have a European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) issued in an EU country or Switzerland
- you do not work or have previously worked in the UK
If you are claiming as a full-time student with an EHIC, you can apply for a refund of the IHS you paid to cover any period starting on or after:
- 1 January 2021 - if your EHIC was issued in the EU
- 1 November 2021 - if your EHIC was issued in Switzerland
Applications open from 1 January 2022.
The amount you are refunded will depend on the date your S1 certificate or EHIC runs out.
Paying the surcharge
You will be prompted to pay the Healthcare Surcharge after submitting your visa application.