IHS Fee for UK Spouse Visa | Dependant Visas Explained 2024

IHS Fee

What is the IHS Fee?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) Fee is a mandatory payment required by individuals applying for a UK visa, including the Spouse Visa. It grants access to healthcare services provided by the NHS during the visa holder’s stay in the UK.


What is a UK Dependant Visa?

A UK dependant visa allows family members or partners of individuals settled or residing in the UK to join them. Dependents can include spouses, children, or other family members who are financially dependent on the primary visa holder.

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is an additional fee that prospective applicants are required to pay in addition to the application fee for the UK Dependent Visa. This payment grants applicants the same access to the NHS as is available to UK residents, ensuring they can receive medical care without further charges during their stay. 

IHS Fees For Dependant Visas In 2024

On October 13, 2023, the UK Government announced a significant 66% increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to £1,035 per year. This hike, which took effect on February 6, 2024, directly affects those applying for Dependant Visas, among others.

Previously, the IHS was set at £624 per year for most visa types, with a reduced rate of £470 for students and children under the age of 18. The student visa holder and children will now pay £776 per year. It’s important to note that the student’s dependants will also pay the discounted rate, £776 annually. 

This move aims to ensure migrants contribute more equitably to the NHS, reflecting the government’s stance on balancing public health funding. Individuals and families applying for a UK visa now should incorporate these updated IHS fees into their financial planning so the application process runs smoothly.

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee required for most visa and immigration applications. It was instituted on April 6, 2015, to ensure that those coming to the UK as immigrants contribute to the public health service. 

This surcharge is paid upfront when submitting a visa application. During their stay in the UK, the applicant will have full access to the National Health Service (NHS). 

Notably, access to the NHS under the IHS is unlimited and covers most of the services except for certain charges such as prescriptions, dental treatments, and eye care. There is no option to opt out of this, even if you do not intend to use NHS services or prefer private healthcare.

The charge is calculated annually and covers the whole duration of the visa applied for. This ensures that healthcare contributions are proportional to the length of stay in the UK. 

Importance of IHS Fee for UK Dependant Visas

The IHS fee is crucial for UK dependant visas as it covers the cost of healthcare services provided by the NHS during the dependant’s stay in the UK. It ensures that dependants have access to medical treatment without incurring additional expenses.

Calculation

The calculation of the IHS fee depends on various factors, including the duration of the visa and the applicant’s nationality. The fee is usually paid upfront for the entire duration of the visa.

Factors Influencing

  • Visa Duration: Longer visa durations generally entail higher IHS fees.
  • Applicant’s Nationality: Nationals of certain countries may have different IHS fee rates.
  • Changes in IHS Fee
  • The IHS fee is subject to periodic reviews and adjustments by the UK government. Applicants should check the latest fee rates before submitting their visa applications to ensure accurate payment.
  • Payment of IHS Fee
  • The IHS fee is typically paid online as part of the visa application process. Applicants receive guidance on the exact amount to pay based on their visa type and duration.
  • Exemptions and Reductions
  • Certain categories of individuals may be exempt from paying the IHS fee, such as asylum seekers, diplomats, and children under a certain age. Additionally, some applicants may qualify for a reduced fee based on their circumstances.

The IHS Fee If My Visa Is Rejected?

If your visa application is rejected, you will be refunded the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee. The refund process kicks in automatically, meaning you don’t need to take any further action to get your money back. The UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) service will process the refund back to the card or account used during your application.

However, there are cases under which you will not qualify for an IHS refund. These include:

  • If your visa application is accepted but you choose not to come to the United Kingdom.
  • If you depart the UK before the visa expires
  • If you need to exit the UK before your visa expires for whatever reason.

FAQs

FAQ 1: Who needs to pay the IHS for a UK dependant visa?

FAQ 2: Can the IHS be refunded?

FAQ 3: Are there any exceptions to paying the IHS fee?

FAQ 4: How long is the IHS fee valid for?

FAQ 5: Can the IHS fee amount change after payment?

Conclusion

Understanding the IHS fee for UK dependant visas is essential for individuals navigating the immigration process. By comprehending its purpose, calculation, payment process, and exemptions, applicants can ensure compliance and smooth visa processing, facilitating their journey to join their family members or partners in the UK.

We’ll help you understand the eligibility requirements, gather the necessary documentation, and complete the application process. Don’t let the visa process hold you back from reuniting with your partner. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you obtain a UK spouse visa.

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