This charge relates to the UK National Health Service (NHS), the UK’s state healthcare system.
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) entitles you to use the NHS if you become unwell or have an accident while in the UK.
You have to pay the IHS even if you do not use the NHS or even if you have your own private health insurance.
Do I have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?
If you are applying from outside of the UK
All students applying for entry clearance for a period of 6 months or more will need to pay the IHS. You must pay this fee as part of your visa application.
If your course is less than 6 months, you must take out private health insurance as you will not be eligible for NHS treatment.
If you are applying from within the UK
If you are applying for an extension of your visa from inside the UK, you will be required to pay the IHS for any length of visa even if your course length is less than 6 months.
How much do I have to pay?
The amount you pay depends on the length of your stay in the UK. The fee is £300 for every stay that lasts 6–12 months and £150 for any additional period that is less than 6 months.
For example: you are coming to do a course that lasts 12 months. Your visa should start 1 month before your course start date and should cover the length of your course plus an extra 4 months. Your visa should last for 17 months in total so you will be required to pay an IHS fee of £450 (£300 + £150).
If you are studying a 3-year Undergraduate degree course you will have to pay £300 IHS for each year of your course plus £150 for the additional amount of time you are given on your visa before the start of your course and at the end of your course. Therefore you will have to pay a total of £1050 (£300 x 3) + £150 IHS fees.
You can use the Immigration Health Surcharge Calculator to check how much IHS you need to pay.