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Beating the Immigration Health Surcharge Hike: Act Now

Published 12 April 2024

Early Application Benefits Amid Surcharge Increase

The impending increase to the immigration health surcharge is significant, rising from £624 to £1,035 per year for most applicants, and from £470 to £776 for children, students, and their dependants. Given this substantial hike, individuals currently in the UK or planning to move soon should consider submitting their applications promptly.

Timeline for Surcharge Increase

The Delegated Legislation Committee debated the Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2023 on Wednesday 10th January 2023. The Institute for Government has a useful explainer on what will happen after that. Simply put, the committee will debate and agree a motion that they have ‘considered’ the order. The order will then proceed to the House of Commons for a vote – this will happen on a later day than the committee’s debate.

We do not yet know when the House of Commons will approve the order, but the order will come into force 21 days after it has been ‘made’ by the Minister which will happen after it has been approved by both Houses of Parliament. The House of Lords has already approved the order.

As the fee increase will not be implemented for another three weeks or possibly more, its advisable to evaluate if an early application can be made during this period

Cost Analysis: Immigration Health Surcharge Impact on UK Visas

The upcoming surcharge increase dramatically affects visa costs. For instance, a spouse entry clearance will jump from £3,718 to £4,951, and a five-year UK Ancestry visa from £3,757 to £5,812. Prospective applicants must ensure they still meet all requirements when applying early. For example, spouse visa applicants may need a six-month employment history, and Skilled Workers must adhere to specific timing related to their Certificate of Sponsorship and job start date.

As always, we recommend seeking professional advice for any visa application.

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