The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1086) will come into effect as a permanent rule on 27 October 2020 after being authorised by the Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster, on 01 October 2020.
The Order instigates an additional increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge (“IHS”) fee and offers an IHS exclusion for specific Tier 2 (General) migrants, and their dependants, who work as certified doctors, allied health professionals and nurses.
Immigration Health Surcharge- How much is it?
In agreement with the Conservative Party’s manifesto the present Order raises the Immigration Health Surcharge fee by over 50% and causes an additional financial burden on potential migrants arriving in to the UK.
The usual fee of the IHS will increase from £400 to £624 per year.
The reduced rate of the IHS fee will surge from £300 to £470 per annum. This applies to applicants under the age of 18, Students, Dependants of Students and Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) Temporary Migrants.
For instance, the Immigration Health Surcharge fee for entry clearance as a spouse of a British citizen/settled person will escalate from £1,200 to £1,560 for the 30 month applicable period. The IHS fee for a Tier 5 entry clearance application for two years of visa will surge from £600 to £940. The official Home Office website provides an IHS fee calculator (link mentioned below in the comments section and description box).
In accordance with the provisional facility of the Order, applicants will carry on to pay the present lower IHS fee on any application made before 27 October 2020.
Exemptions from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge fee
The UK Home Office has published a full list of exemptions including visitors, diplomats and others not subject to immigration controls, application for leave in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands, dependants of a member of the UK’s or other country’s armed forces, asylum seekers and those applying for humanitarian protection, victims of trafficking or modern slavery, and if you are a non-EEA family member of a European national with EU Treaty rights among others.
On 21 May 2020 the UK Prime Minister publicized that health and care workers would be exempted from paying the IHS considering the NHS part in handling the Covid-19 pandemic and the important input that international staff, around 12% of the general healthcare workforce, make to the NHS.
This exception broadens to any dependant of an entitled healthcare worker and has backdated effect to 31 March 2020. Applicants to the Tier 2 (General) Health and Care Visa commenced on 04 August 2020 will be spontaneously exempt. This has already been discussed in our previous videos.
Immigration Health Surcharge Refunds
You will be eligible to a compensation if you pay the Immigration Health Surcharge more than once in the online process, if your UK visa application is rejected or you cancel your visa application.
You will be eligible for a partial refund if you are authorized a shorter period of leave than you applied for or if any of your dependants are rejected.
IHS Refunds may take longer if you appeal or demand an administrative review after a visa is rejected.
You will not be allowed a refund if your visa application is successful but you do not arrive in to the UK, if you leave the UK before your visa terminates, if you switch to a different category before your present visa expires or if you are told to depart the UK before your visa expires.
IHS fee Reimbursements
If you are already in the UK on a Health and Care visa Tier 2 you will be permitted for a full refund of the IHS to include the period from 31 March 2020. If you deposited the IHS fee after 31 March 2020 you must automatically get this refund. If not you can claim refund by getting in touch with the Home Office by email to claim.
You may also be entitled to claim refund of the IHS if you are not on a Tier 2 (General) visa but can prove that you have worked for an average of at least 16 hours a week, for a minimum of 6 months since 31 March 2020 , in an entitled health or care position as set out in Annex A of the Guidance. You will be required to apply online every 6 months and will get up to a maximum of £200 reimbursement for the 6 months’ value of IHS you have remunerated. This procedure is controlled by the NHS Business Services Authority who will authenticate applications for UK Visas and Immigration to process settlements.