Get world-class medical care in the UK: The immigration health surcharge

The National Health Service (NHS) provides free basic medical care to UK and EU citizens as well as UK visa holders. If you need a visa to travel to the UK, you may need to pay the immigration health surcharge to get access to the service.

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Who needs to pay the health surcharge?

If you are moving to the UK for more than six months and you are a non-EU citizen, you must pay the health surcharge – regardless of whether you have private medical insurance. This will entitle you to use the NHS while you’re staying in the UK.

If you are visiting England for less than six months, or if you did not pay the surcharge when you were required to, you will be charged for any NHS services that you make use of during your stay.

If you’ve been awarded indefinite leave to remain, you will not have to pay the surcharge.

How much you will pay

The amount will depend on the type of visa you hold:

  • It’s £150 per year for Tier 4 student or Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa holders
  • It’s £200 per year for all other visa classes and dependants thereof

If you’re planning on staying in the UK for five years on a Tier 2 visa, you must pay £1,000 upfront when applying for your permit. A student staying for the same amount of time would pay £750.

Although most healthcare is covered by the NHS, you will be required to make contributions toward certain costs, such as prescriptions, dental care and eye care.

How to pay

You must pay the health surcharge before completing your visa application – whether you’re applying online, at a visa service centre or by post.

Ensure that you know the start and end dates of your certificate of sponsorship if you’re on a Tier 2 visa (or your course dates if you’re a student) as well as your passport number as you may be asked for this information when applying.

The fee must be paid using a debit or credit card on HMRC’s website.

Immigration health surcharge refunds

If your visa application is refused, or you withdraw your application, the fee will be automatically refunded to the account you made the payment from.

You will get a partial refund if you are granted less time than you applied for or if any dependants on your visa application are refused.

If you have any queries relating to your visa options, give our UK immigration experts a call on +27 (0) 21 657 2180  or email us at immigration@1stcontact.com.

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  • James Graham

    my wife is in the process of applying for part 2 of the UK spouse visa. I take it she will only pay the health charge for the 27 months that she is applying for

  • Ruth

    I’m currently extending my ancestry visa and this is the first time I’ve had to pay the health surcharge. Is it a new requirement? I have been charged £400 for it, and my visa extension is for a further 5 years. The amount quoted by yourselves doesn’t tally. Any info on this would be gratefully received. Thanks.

  • Aaron Ligeirinho Hughes

    Hi, if there is anyway you could help me with some clarity this would be massively appreciated. I am a British Citizen resident in the UK, working as a teacher on 28,000 a year. My fiance is Brazilian and we plan to marry in the UK in August 2018 and apply for leave to remain. We are aware of the NHS surcharge etc, but we have a specific issue, as she has a medical condition which requires hospital treatment /clinic evry 15 days. Can I just clarify that in the UK applications are not refused for spouse visas/flr etc, because of pre-existing medical conditions? Am I right in thinking it is only if it is a risk to the public/contageous etc. Thanks in advance!

    • http://www.1stcontact.com/ 1st Contact

      Hi Aaron,
      I would suggest you contact the UKVI on 0300 123 2241