The UK government released the ‘Budget 2020 statement’ on 12th March 2020 where it claims to deliver on the promises made by the conservatives (to the British people) during their election campaign last year. One of the said promises was to increase the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) to be paid by immigrants applying to enter the UK to remain in the country for over 6 months.
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Migrants from outside the EEA have been required to pay IHS since 2015 by the conservative and liberal democrat coalition government in the UK, at the time. Immigration Health Surcharge is payable by migrants intending to remain in the UK for longer than 6 months for the use of National Health Service during their stay in the UK. In the course of 5 years, since its introduction the IHS fees have been on the rise.
The present IHS fee stands at a steep £400 per year (for adults and children alike) for those applying under the various categories of UK (except students). The present IHS fee for students is £300 per year. The IHS fee payment tends to be a burden for the applicants as it drastically contributes to the costs of the visa application. For example, an application for a 3 years Tier 2 (General) visa application fee is already £610 + IHS for 3 years (£400*3 = £1200) = £1,810!
The UK government now intends to increase the IHS fees to £624 per year, for adult applicants and £470 per year, for children under the age of 18 years, students, their dependents and those on the youth mobility scheme. The new fees are set to come in to effect from 20th October 2020 and would be applicable to EEA nationals traveling to the UK for over 6 months, from January 2021.
This would put the costs of visa applications through the roof for aspiring migrants and would definitely deter their interest in migration to the UK. Let us consider the margin of the rise in application fees this change would cause by considering the above said example with the revised IHS fees. £610 + IHS for 3 years (£624*3 = £1,872) = £2,482
It is understandable that the UK government wants to increase the funds available to its National Health Service for the provision of medical services to the citizens but it is equally important that it take a good look at the long lasting economic consequences it might suffer due to its policies!
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If you are considering applying for UK visas it would be ideal to consider having your application submitted before the increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge comes in to effect. To evaluate the merits of your UK visa application or for assistance in applying for UK visa you can contact us on +91 98191 27002 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org