November 29, 2023

Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) increase


The government has announced that the Immigration Health Surcharge, which has been frozen for the previous 3 years, is going to see a substantial increase in early 2024. The Home Office are justifying the substantial increase as a means to “help fund the pay rise to doctors”.

The date of the increase is likely to be set for the 16 January 2024, or the twenty-first day after the day on which the Order is approved by both Houses of Parliament.

The increase will see the Health Surcharge fee being raised from £470 per year to £776 per year (for children, students, their dependants and youth mobility workers), and from £624 per year to £1,035 per year for every other adult applicant. 


What has changed?

Payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge entitles the applicant to free NHS hospital treatment on the same basis as an ordinary resident and is paid for during the immigration application process. 

Current applications, submitted before 16th January 2024, will see no change in Immigration Health Surcharge fees. However, once the fee comes into effect, all applications submitted on or after this date, will be requested to pay the increased fee.

Who is affected?

All migrants requested to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of their application, will be affected i.e., anyone applying for a visa or immigration application:

    • for more than 6 months, if applying outside the UK
    • for any length of time, if applying inside the UK

What to expect /impact?

It is expected this substantial increase will fall on the overall costs for employers needing to rely on the non-settled workforce and on those moving or extending their legal status in the UK.

By end of 2024 we will hopefully have a better picture on the impact the increase has had on employers and the volumes of inbound application coming into the UK. 

What you need to do

For further information on the Immigration Health Surcharge increase, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at


Margherita Drago

Margherita Drago

Margherita has worked in global and UK immigration for the past 7 years, acquiring extensive experience across a range of international companies within the immigration industry. Specialising in corporate immigration, sponsor compliance as well as delivering training, Margherita also actively supports trainee advisers, aiding their development of a business perspective to better assist clients in accordance to best immigration practice.

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