Immigration Health Surcharge

The UK has a healthcare system which is paid for through taxes. All UK nationals and most residents have equal access to the National Health Service (NHS) without being charged each time they visit a doctor or hospital.

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) has been introduced to help fund the NHS, and will give migrants the same access to the NHS as UK citizens.

Who has to pay?

You will have to pay the IHS if you apply for a visa for a period of longer than six months, and you make your visa application outside of the UK.

If you apply for a visa in the UK, you will have to pay the IHS for any length of visa.

How much does it cost?

The surcharge for students and their dependants is £150 per person, per year of the visa. Part years of less than six months will be charged at £75.

For example, if you are studying a four year programme, you will be charged £675 (£150 per year of programme, plus £75 for the four month period at the end of the visa).

Each of your dependants would also be charged £675 if they are applying at the same time as you.

Is anyone exempt from the charge?

Anyone applying for entry clearance for less than six months, and academic visitors coming to the UK for up to 12 months (even if they are here for more than six months) do not have to pay the surcharge.

All students studying full-time for more than 3 months in Scotland are eligible for NHS treatment. However, short term students are not eligible for full NHS access outside of Scotland, so it is advisable to take out separate medical insurance if you intend to travel to other parts of the UK. You can find out what medical care you can access for free on the UKCISA website.

UKCISA - Health and healthcare

When do I pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?

You must make your payment by debit/credit card as part of your online visa application.


If you are applying for a Tier 4 (General) visa

Your course start and end dates must match the details on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). If you are extending your visa in the UK your course start date will not be the date you originally started studying.

Home Office information about the immigration health surcharge

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