Employment and Immigration Law Update - Immigration Health Surcharge to increase

31 March 2020

Rishi Sunak, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced during the Budget speech on 11 March 2020 that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is set to increase from the current level of £400 per year to £624 per year – triple the cost of the fee when it was introduced in 2015.

The change will be implemented in October 2020 (exact date not yet known). Children under the age of 18 will pay £470 per year. The current discounted rates for students, their dependants and those on the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme are also set to increase from £300 per year to £470 per year.

At the moment the IHS only applies to non-EEA nationals and their families. However from 1 January 2021, EEA nationals will also be required to pay the IHS as part of any visa application. Note it does not apply to applications made under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Conservatives had promised to increase the surcharge during the 2019 general election campaign so this does not come as a complete surprise, but will certainly cause a big impact on those applying for or renewing their visas from October 2020. As a result we anticipate there may be a rush of applications in September, in an attempt to beat the increase.

Sponsors who are expecting to request a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship (RCoS) for a Tier 2 migrant applying from outside the UK should be alert to the fact that if there is a rush, this may put extra pressure on the quota for RCoS in that month and so they would be well advised to request any RCoS as early as possible.

This article is from the March 2020 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. For further information please contact Clare Hedges or another member of Birketts' Immigration Team.

The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at March 2020.


Clare Hedges

Senior Associate - Head of Immigration

+44 (0)1223 326605

+44 (0)7581 150137