Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) set to double

The UK government is making moves to double the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to ‘temporary migrants’... the changes could come into effect as early as April 2018.

Have you, or someone you know always dreamed of living in the UK but are still deciding whether to actually apply for a visa? With proposed changes to the cost of applying, it would be worth submitting an application sooner, rather than later.

The UK Government is making moves to double the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to ‘temporary migrants’. The Department of Health and Health and Social Care say the surcharge will rise from £200 to £400 per year.

Under the changes, the discounted rate for students and those on the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from £150 to £300.

It’s a significant increase for anyone but especially for those eligible for a UK ancestry visa. The IHS cost for a UK ancestry visa applicant is already about £1000… the proposed changes are set to increase this to a whooping £2000. This is the same for an ancestry dependent.

Health Minister James O’Shaughnessy says the increase to the IHS will potentially provide an extra £220 million per year to the National Health Service (NHS). “Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers,” he says. “We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but it is only right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability.” As an Australian, one could argue that the existing surcharge is already very expensive!

No firm decision on when the changes will be implemented has been made as yet… but new UK legislation changes set to be made on April 6 will be confirmed on March 20. The IHS price-rise may or may not be one of them… but, as it is more likely than not, you should strongly consider getting a visa application in ASAP.

It is worth keeping in mind that those eligible for an ancestry visa or dependent visa can apply for a visa now and avoid paying the increased IHS. The cost of a 30 day entry vignette is about £170. 

It will still work out cheaper to change your arrival date if needed, and apply for a new 30 day entry vignette in your passport than pay the increase! Your hard earned savings could be better spent on travel and setting yourself up for a new life in the UK.

If you’re aged 18 to 30 intending to live and work in the UK on a Youth Mobility Visa or ancestry visa but haven’t started the process and are not sure where to start… BritBound can help. We have helped hundreds of young people newly arrived in the UK to settle in and make a successful transition over the past 10 years.

We cover all aspects of the visa application process, from the straightforward, to the complicated. Visit for a stress-free and sociable arrival experience.

Source: UK Government:

-Written by Kaitlyn Fasso-Opie