🏠 Life in the UK
February 5, 2024
Updated on
March 6, 2023

Healthcare Surcharge 101

Healthcare Surcharge 101
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✦ Healthcare Surcharge 101

The immigration healthcare surcharge (or IHS) is a sum of money you must pay in order to access the National Health Service. NHS is the umbrella term for the UK publicly-funded healthcare systems. Paying the surcharge makes it possible to visit doctors in the UK for free. Without access to the NHS, though, you will not be able to get your visa.

If you are applying for your visa online, you will have to pay the surcharge as part of your application or when you book an appointment. You will not be able to submit your application until full payment is made. If you are applying for a visa by post, you will have to pay the surcharge online before sending your application and to include the IHS reference number on your application form.

In general, each applicant for the Global Talent Visa must pay £624 per year. So, for example, for a 5-year visa you will have to pay £3,120. However, due to the specifics of each case, you may as well get a discount.

Here are the factors that can influence the final surcharge sum and you can use a calculator to work out how much you need to pay:

  • The number of people applying with you (if you are not applying alone);
  • Dependents: if you are with or without them, how many of them you have;
  • The location: if you are already in the UK or in any other country;
  • The nationality and visa route;
  • The age: people under 18 may get a different sum;
  • The destination: people staying on the Isle of Man, Jersey or  Guernsey get different surcharges.
📌 Important:
You will have to pay a full surcharge payment for each of your dependents.

For example, if you are a Russian citizen, applying for the Global Talent Visa outside of the UK and planning to bring two dependents of the same nationality, the total for the health surcharge will be £1,872.

If you do not pay the surcharge (or do not pay the full amount), you will get an email from UK Visas and immigration. Once you get the email, you will have up to 7 working days before your visa application is turned down.

You can start using the NHS when you have paid the healthcare surcharge AND your visa application is granted. Prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and assisted conception will still have to be paid for separately.

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