Although this announcement was first made in February 2018, the exact date the increase will take effect has not been made public. The increase is now only subject to the Parliamentary approval.
The huge increase in the surcharge is of course not good news for UK visa applicants.
The reasoning behind the increase in the UK Immigration Health Surcharge
The UK Home Office said in a statement that the increase in the surcharge would add £220 million to the funds of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
The UK Government estimates that the NHS spends an average of £470 on average per person per year on treating those required to pay this health surcharge. According to the Government, the increase will better reflect the cost to the NHS of treating migrants paying the surcharge.
How UK Visa applicants will be affected by the increase in the Surcharge
From December 2018, UK visa applicants, applying for visas valid for longer than six months will pay double the amount payable currently payable.
Presently, the Immigration Health Surcharge payable by a UK visa applicant is £200 per year. From December 2018, it will be £400 per year.
A client applying for a UK Ancestry Visa for a period of five-years will in future have to pay a very hefty £2,000 for Immigration Health Surcharge.
There are however certain categories that are discounted and exempted.
The Student Visa and Youth Mobility Visa categories pay a discounted surcharge. The surcharge for the discounted categories is £150 per year, per applicant. This will from December 2018 increase to £300 per year, per applicant.
Persons applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain and British Citizenship do not have to pay the immigration health surcharge. Vulnerable groups, such as slavery victims and asylum seekers are exempt.
Applicants for UK Visitor visas do not need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, as the visa is not valid for longer than six months.
Breytenbachs recommendations on the increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge
The increase in the surcharge is of course not good news for anyone wanting to apply for a UK Visa.
Breytenbachs strongly recommend that readers who want to avoid paying this higher surcharge, apply without delay.
Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice and is provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.
For more information on the Immigration Health Surcharge visit the Breytenbachs website.