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Immigration Health Surcharge

All you need to know about the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

If you are applying for immigration permission to enter or remain in the UK for more than 6 months, you will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) when you submit your visa application. This payment is in addition to the visa application fee and is not optional, even if you have or intend to purchase private medical insurance for your time in the UK.

Paying the IHS means that you will be entitled to use the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK. In addition to emergency health care, you will not be charged for hospital treatment or further medical treatment. Please note that you will still need to pay for certain types of services (e.g. prescriptions, dental treatments and eye tests.).

If you are from an EU country and are applying for a Student visa, you will need to pay this charge as well, however, you may be eligible for a refund. See GOV guidance for further information.

Frequently asked questions

Please click on the relevant section below to expand the guidance.

  • The current fees for students (and their dependants) is £470 per person per twelve months of leave granted (or £235 per 6 months of leave).

    If unsure, use the GOV tool to find out how much you need to pay:

    For more information about the length of leave you will be granted click here.

    Example 1:

    An undergraduate student applying for Tier 4 leave from outside the UK for a three year course has a CAS start date of 23/09/2019 and a course end date of 27/06/2022. They should be granted a total of 4 additional months after the 'course end date' on the CAS (i.e., visa expiry date will be 27/10/2022).

    Tier 4 visa length from course start date to visa expiry date = 38 months (3 years + 2 months) = IHS payment £1,645.

    Example 2:

    A Masters student applying for Tier 4 leave from outside the UK with their spouse as a dependant for a 12 months course with a CAS start date of 01/10/2020 and end date of 30/09/2021. They should be granted a total of 4 additional months after the 'course end date' on the CAS (i.e., visa expiry date will be 30/01/2022).

    Leave granted = 16 months (1 year & 4 months) x 2 applicants (student and dependant) = IHS payment £1,410.

    Please note that if you are making your visa application from outside the UK, you will be charged in local currency. Exchange rates can go up or down and the Home Office sets the exchange rates at a level which ensures that the risk associated with fluctuating rates is kept to a minimum and an applicant does not pay less than the sterling fee set out in the relevant Fees Regulations. For more information, please refer to the Home Office's Exchange Rate Policy.

  • When making an immigration application online, the payment of the IHS is part of the application process. The form will automatically calculate the correct IHS payment depending on the information entered in the visa details section.

    You will need to have access to a credit or debit card which can be used to pay the health charge (and the visa application fee) online. There is no requirement to hold the IHS fee for 28 days or to provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover the health fee in the visa application. However, students using the same account to pay the visa application fee and health charge as they are using to evidence maintenance, should ensure that there is enough money available to cover everything.

  • If you are due a refund (as a result of a visa refusal, duplicate payment or miscalculation on the form), this should be automatically refunded to your original source of payment within 6 weeks of receiving a decision on your visa application.

    If you are unsure whether you are eligible for a refund, please read more information about the UKVI's Refund Policy.

    If no refund is issued to you automatically when you believe you are eligible to receive one, you can contact us to make an enquiry to the UKVI on your behalf. You will need to include evidence of duplicate payment (for example, the Worldpay email receipt) with your email and provide the GWF number/ application reference number.

    IHS refund for continuing students:

    Please note that if you are part way through your course and need to make a further Tier 4 visa application to complete that course (for example, you changed course from a 3-year to a 4-year course, and are applying for your new visa when you are in Year 2), there will be no refund to the overlapping period of IHS fees if you applied for your visa from outside the UK.

    However, if you made this visa application within the UK, then you will be eligible for a refund for any overlapping IHS payment for periods of 6 months or more. Any overlapping IHS payment for a period of less than 6 months will not be refunded.

  • If you need to pay IHS but the payment calculation is showing as 0, it might be that you have answered one of the questions incorrectly (for example, if you answer yes to 'are you under local authority care?' or yes to 'are you studying in the Isle of Man?'). Don't worry though, as this will not cause a refusal.

    If this happens, please go ahead and pay for your Tier 4 online application as normal. Attend your visa appointment and submit your documents as normal. When your visa application is processed after the appointment, the UKVI caseworker will check if the correct payment is made and if not, you will receive an email from the UKVI with a link for top-up payment (they will usually give you 7 days to pay but obviously the earlier you pay, the earlier your application will be considered). This will mean a slight delay on your visa application processing time but hopefully only by a few days. Please make sure that you keep checking your email and its junk/spam folder as failure to pay the IHS within its due date will result in a visa rejection.

  • If you know that you have answered one of the questions incorrectly (for example, the level of your course), just add a covering letter when you attend your visa appointment outlining the correct answer. As long as you have paid the correct amount, this will not affect your visa application.

  • It could be internet connection problems while payment is going through. Check if you have received a Worldpay payment confirmation email. If you did receive the Worldpay email, then payment has gone through. Just log back on to the application form and it should take you to the next page. If there is no worldpay email, then payment has not gone through. You should log back on to the application form to try to make payment again.

  • When you apply for your visa from outside the UK, you and your dependants need to fill out separate visa application forms. Therefore, you will pay for your own IHS charge, and your dependants will need to pay their IHS charge separately.

  • This happens very rarely but if you have tried everything (including trying with different web browsers and clearing your web browser's cache and cookies), then the best option is to start a new online application form.

  • You won't need to pay the IHS if you're applying for a visitor visa or for a visa (including Tier 4 visa) for 6 months or less (from outside the UK). For details of exemptions please visit the website.

  • If you are applying for additional leave to complete your current studies (e.g. a PhD student granted an extension) the period used to calculate the IHS payment will depend on whether you paid the IHS when you applied for the original Tier 4 leave for your current course (If you have previously paid the IHS charge, the form is likely to calculate a higher fee based on the 'course start date' you put on the form but a refund should be issued with 90 days of the decision for the period for which you paid twice).

    If you believe the calculation to be incorrect, please contact us and we can look into this further for you.