The Home Office has at 19.06 on Friday 4th January 2019, stated by email circular that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee will double on Tuesday 8 January 2019 – as follows the announcement of the increase on 8th October 2018 by the Minister of State for Immigration, details of which can be read here.
A reminder for those unfamiliar – the increase is due to a review by the Department of Health and Social Care last year that the average cost to the NHS of an immigrant payer was £470 and by doubling the fees the NHS would receive a boost of £220 million per year, which the Minister of State commented:
‘The proposed amount is still below full average cost recovery level and remains a good deal for those seeking to live in the UK temporarily’.
Applicants, have until Monday to submit visa applications in order to avoid the increase – given the IHS fees will increase from £200 to £400 per year for most immigration categories, and from £150 to £300 per year for those who qualify for discounted rates, such as Tier 4 and Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme migrants – submission of an application by Tuesday will result in significant savings.
Perhaps there is some delayed festive cheer as the increase was due in December, but with a sense of irony the Home Office, has turned this into a New Year greeting! Happy - perhaps not!
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