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If you apply for a visa that lasts longer than 6 months you need to pay IHS fee.

Immigration health surcharge
on Thu 23 Mar


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(1). who needs to pay the IHS fee?

You don’t have to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS) if you’re applying from outside the UK for a visitor visa or any other visa that lasts 6 months or less.

You don’t need to use the healthcare surcharge service or get an IHS reference number for your visa application. Instead, you’ll need to pay for any healthcare treatment you receive through the NHS at the point you use it.


(2). When you need to pay

Visa applications made outside the UK: 

Those applying from outside the UK will need to make their IHS payment at the same time as paying for their visa application using the online application process.

You can register an online account via Visa4UK

Visa applications made inside the UK, you’ll have to pay if:

If you’re a national of a country from outside the EU and you’re applying to extend your visa for any length of time, including applications for 6 months or less (but you’re not applying to remain in the UK permanently) you’ll still need to pay even if you have private medical insurance. We recommend paying before submission of your application as FLR application forms request your IHS number. UKVI will contact you if you haven’t paid they also have the right to return your application as invalid within 7-10 days if you fail to pay within a time of there request.  

You can register for an account via IHS FEE


(3).When you’ll need an IHS reference number

You’ll need to use the payment service to get an immigration health surcharge (IHS) reference number but you won’t need to pay if:

You’re applying for a Tier 2 ICT visa or you’re their dependent

You’re a child under 18 who has been taken into care by a local authority

You’re the dependent of a member of the UK’s armed forces

You’re the dependent of a member of another country’s forces who is exempt from immigration control

You’re a relevant civilian employee employed by NATO or the Australian Department of Defense in the UK or their dependents

The service will tell you that you don’t have to pay anything and will give you your healthcare surcharge reference number for your application.

You can use the NHS even if you’re exempt from paying.


(4). How much you have to pay

Dependants usually need to pay the same amount as you.

The exact amount you have to pay depends on how much leave you’re granted. Calculate how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

Your visa or immigration application won’t be granted if you don’t pay the healthcare surcharge or your application will be delayed if you don’t pay the right amount.

You’ll automatically get a partial refund if you paid the healthcare surcharge for more years than you were granted leave.


(5). Refunds

You don’t need to do anything to get an IHS refund - it’s automatically paid to the account or card you paid with. You won’t get a refund if your visa application’s successful but you don’t travel to the UK or you leave before your visa ends.

You usually get your refund within 90 days of getting a decision on your visa application. It can take longer if you appeal or ask for an administrative review if your visa application is refused.

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