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08 January 2024

Update on postponement of Immigration Health Surcharge increase

2 mins

The increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) announced by the UK government on October 19, 2023 under this Order, was due to come into effect on January 16, 2024. That will now be delayed due to the Parliamentary debate on January 10, 2024 – and the increase can only be implemented 21 days after it becomes law. Therefore, the earliest the new rate will come into effect is January 31, 2024.

The Immigration Health Surcharge is due to rise from £624 to £1035 per year for adults and from £477 to £776 per year for children. The surcharge is paid in the majority of visa applications where applying for immigration permission to enter or remain in the UK for 6 months or more; those applying for a visitor visa under the EU Settlement Scheme and for Indefinite Leave to Remain are exempt from being required to pay – see here for the full list of exemptions.

What does this mean?

This provides some light relief in the rush to submit applications within the next 10 days, which is great news for all!

The government’s recent statement and assessment of the impact this 66% increase will have is identified by them as having a ‘negligible impact’ on UK immigration. The statement notes that it ‘may lead to a small reduction in visas issued on IHS-liable routes due to migrants being dissuaded from applying to come to the UK or to extend…’

Whilst the initial fallout may be slightly fewer applications and/or employers being more selective when recruiting, it is likely that the overall numbers of skilled individuals entering or remaining in the UK and who are applying for visas will not be hugely impacted – particularly when hiring the brightest and best. Nevertheless, it is worth still proceeding with existing or new applications, ideally before the end of January 2024, where possible.

For more information on our immigration services for individuals click here.

For information on our immigration services for businesses, please see here.

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