irish-expert-logo

The UK visa is going digital!

The UK Government has announced that UK eVisas are going to replace the immigration paperwork by 2025. Pretty exciting, right?

 

The United Kingdom is set to gradually phase out the physical biometric immigration cards, including Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) and Biometric Residence Cards (BRC), following their initiative to create a digital border.

Now, instead of physical cards or in-passport vignettes, the applicants will get their visas verified online, which will serve as proof of their immigration status.


The eVisas will also be linked with their passports and/or other travel documents as required.

The applicants must remember to update or create the official UKVI or UK Visa and Immigrations account that will hold their eVisa and other important and relevant documents. They can also share your documents with third parties according to their needs. Make sure to keep this account updated, as border control will verify everything through this UKVI account.

If there are any questions or queries, you can reach out to us at Irish Expert. Our qualified immigration lawyers will help you through the process and make this transition easier for you.

Share at Social

irishexpert

Writer & Blogger

Reduced to 5 years

Changes made in Canada in PGWP for International Students

What is PGWP?

A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) is an unrestricted work permit issued to international students upon finishing their studies in Canada. PGWP holders have the freedom to work anywhere in Canada for any employer without any restrictions on the number of hours.


The duration of your PGWP is determined by factors such as the level and duration of your study program, as well as the expiration date of your passport, whichever comes first.


The changes implemented by the Canadian Government

The Government of Canada has applied changes to its post-graduation work permit (PGWP), starting on February 15, 2024. The changes are as follows:

  • International students who have completed their Master’s, even under two years, will now qualify for a 3-year PGWP. (They still need to be eligible.)

  • Also, starting on September 1, 2024, students who are enrolled in the Curriculum Licensing Agreement will no longer be eligible for PGWP.

  • Special measures for distance learning and PGWP validity have been extended until August 31, 2024.

 

Are all international students eligible for a PGWP?

You could qualify for a PGWP if you completed your studies at a designated learning institution (DLI) and wish to remain in Canada temporarily for employment purposes. A DLI refers to a school authorized by a provincial or territorial government in Canada to accommodate international students.

However, graduating from a DLI does not automatically guarantee eligibility for a PGWP. It’s important to consult the DLI list to identify which schools offer eligible programs.

Who is eligible for a longer post-graduation work permit?

Graduates of programs lasting at least two years at designated learning institutions (DLIs) eligible for PGWP, as well as graduates of master’s degree programs shorter than 2 years, are eligible for a 3-year PGWP.

For the master’s degree program

While shorter programs (8 months or 900 hours) qualify master’s graduates for a 3-year PGWP, other programs also qualify at different lengths (e.g., diplomas at 1 year).


What is the processing time to get a PGWP?

There is a 180-day window during which you must apply for your PGWP for the date you finish your study program. Applicants can also work in Canada while waiting for their PGWP to be processed, given that they have submitted their application before their study permit has expired.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in Canada allows international students to work without restrictions after completing their studies. Its duration depends on various factors, including the program’s length and the student’s passport expiration date. Recent changes include granting a 3-year PGWP to Master’s graduates and discontinuing PGWP eligibility for Curriculum Licensing Agreement students on September 1, 2024. While not all international students automatically qualify for a PGWP, those from designated learning institutions with programs lasting at least two years are eligible. Additionally, the processing time for a PGWP application is typically within 180 days from the program completion date.

 

If you also wish to work or study in Canada, consult Irish Expert. Our top-notch study-abroad counsellors and our dedicated immigration consultants are here to guide you and make your academic and professional dreams soar high!

 

Book your FREE consultation now!

Share at Social

irishexpert

Writer & Blogger

france-ambitiuos-goal

France Sets Ambitious Goal to Attract 30,000 Indian Students by 2030

In a significant announcement at this year’s Republic Day parade, French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled plans to encourage more Indian students to pursue higher education in France. Macron expressed his determination to achieve an ambitious target of hosting over 30,000 Indian students in France by the year 2030.

 

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Macron stated, “30,000 Indian students in France in 2030. It’s a very ambitious target, but I am determined to make it happen.” The French President outlined several measures to facilitate this initiative, including assistance for non-French speaking students to attend French universities.

 

To cater to students who may not be fluent in French, Macron revealed plans for the development of the Alliance française network, with the establishment of new centres dedicated to learning the language. Additionally, international classes will be introduced to enable students with limited proficiency in French to join French universities seamlessly.

 

Addressing potential visa-related challenges faced by Indian students, Macron emphasized the commitment to streamline the process. “Last but not least, we will facilitate the visa process for any former Indian students who studied in France,” he added.

 

This announcement comes on the heels of previous concerns raised by Thierry Mathou, the Ambassador of France, regarding visa-related issues faced by Indian students aspiring to study in France. Mathou highlighted President Macron’s commitment to welcoming 30,000 Indian students within French higher institutions by 2030.

 

In a recent interaction with IANS, Ambassador Mathou discussed the measures taken to address visa-related challenges. He acknowledged that Indian students have encountered difficulties in obtaining visas for higher studies in France but reassured that France is now actively working to overcome these issues.

 

One noteworthy provision introduced last year is the five-year short-stay Schengen visa for Indian students holding a Master’s degree or above. This special provision applies to those who have spent at least one semester studying in France. The French government believes that fostering connections with Indian alumni through extended visa options will strengthen ties between the two nations.

 

The move is being seen as a big opportunity for Indian students, who may find studying in France more accessible with the proposed measures. The commitment from President Macron reflects a broader initiative to strengthen educational and cultural ties between India and France, creating a conducive environment for international students to pursue higher education in the heart of Europe.

Conclusion

In conclusion, President Macron’s vision to host 30,000 Indian students in France by 2030 signals a new era of educational collaboration. The proposed measures, from language support to streamlined visas, demonstrate France’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic environment. As these initiatives unfold, the lasting impact will not just be seen in numbers but in the strengthened cultural ties and transformative experiences for Indian students, contributing to a more interconnected global community.

If France is also your dream study destination, now is the time to go for it! Get in touch with our experienced study abroad counsellors and fly to your dreams hassle-free!

Share at Social

How did it get so easy to get German citizenship?

The government of Germany has recently passed new citizenship law reforms that are going to bring significant changes in German immigration practices and the way they affect the The government of Germany has recently passed new citizenship law reforms that are going to bring significant changes in German immigration practices and the way they affect the country. From relaxing the rules on obtaining citizenship to enabling dual citizenship and more, these changes aim to enhance immigrant integration and expedite the recruitment of skilled worker.

Breakdown of the Citizenship Laws

  • Reduced residency requirement

Previous Requirement

New Requirement

Impact

8 years of residency in Germany

Reduced to 5 years

Revamping the path to citizenship for those remarkably contributing to German society

Special Case: Individuals with ‘special integration accomplishments’ may qualify in just three years.

  • Automatic citizenship for children born in Germany

Previous Rule

New Rule

Impact

It requires one parent to be a legal resident for at least 8 years.

Reduced to 5 years

Acquiring German citizenship for children born to immigrant parents in Germany is now easier.

  • Dual citizenship approval

Previous Rule

New Rule

Impact

Most non-EU citizens had to renounce their previous citizenship.

There are no more restrictions on holding dual citizenships like in a lot of other European countries.

This will now allow individuals to hold citizenship in Germany and another country simultaneously.

  • Government Emphasis on Integration and Skilled Workers

Objective

Supporting Statement

Government Perspective

Enhance immigrant integration and attract more skilled workers.

Approximately 23% of the German population lacks German citizenship.

Aligns Germany with its European neighbours and addresses the need to compete for global talent.

Three phases of the changes

First phase: On November 18, 2023, the initial phase of Germany’s updated skilled worker law came into operation, bringing changes to the regulations related to EU Blue Cards. These adjustments aim to enhance opportunities for skilled workers seeking entry into Germany.
 
Second phase: Anticipating change will start on March 1, 2024, including flexible pathways for education and certification under the revised Skilled Immigration Act. This will allow individuals pursuing qualifications in Germany to align with their foreign training to engage in part-time employment for a maximum of three years at twenty hours per week.
Skilled workers seeking recognition for their foreign qualifications can commence work immediately with the consent of their German employers, provided they possess a minimum A2 level of proficiency in German and hold a professional certification of at least two years.
 
Third phase: The Talented Immigration Act, benefiting skilled workers, will streamline family reunification processes, specifically for spouses, minor children, and, crucially, parents or parents-in-law.
While the requirement for adequate living space is reduced, proving the ability to support livelihoods remains necessary. Skilled workers with valid residency permits post-March 2024 can bring their parents or parents-in-law to Germany, emphasising the importance of family ties and enhancing the welcoming environment for qualified workers settling in the country.

Conclusion

The recent easing of German citizenship rules reflects a strategic move by the government to foster integration and attract skilled workers. The reduction in residency requirements, approval of dual citizenship, and streamlined family reunification processes demonstrate a progressive approach. The three-phase changes, including flexible education pathways and expedited family reunification, highlight Germany’s commitment to competitiveness and inclusivity. These reforms mark a significant evolution in immigration practices, providing a welcoming environment for both skilled workers and their families and contributing to the nation’s growth and diversity.
 
If you also want to move to Germany, now is the best time to plan this! Consult a qualified immigration lawyer who can help you build a strong profile that will carve an easy path to success for you.

Share at Social

irishexpert

Writer & Blogger

Reduced to 5 years

What is an Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) ?

AEWV stands for Accredited Employer Work Visa. It’s a type of work visa in New Zealand that allows people from other countries to work there. The “Accredited Employer” part means that the employer (the company or person hiring) has been approved or accredited by the New Zealand government. This visa has been made to make it easier for skilled workers to come and work in New Zealand.

 

The recent changes in the AEWV category aim to ensure fairness in the treatment of migrants and simplify the visa application process.

Points to note in the new AEWV changes

Let’s look at what these Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) changes are:


90-Day Trials Removed: Starting from October 29th, 2023, when hiring under AEWV, accredited employers can no longer add 90-day trial periods in the employment agreement. This change will help promote and improve fairness in hiring migrant workers with legitimate labour needs or skills gaps. Job-checking applications should not come with a trial period. Accredited employers who violate the rules risk getting their accreditation revoked; a vigilant check will be conducted on the same.
 
AEWV Job Check application: Starting on October 29th, 2023, AEWV Job Check applications that are being reviewed will be turned down if they include an employment agreement with a trial period, no matter when they were submitted. However, this does not apply to applications that are based on Job Checks that were approved before October 29, 2023, or for migrants who have applied for an AEWV using a Job Check that was approved before this date.
 
AEWV Employer Accreditation Updates: Changes have been made to the immigration rules to make it clearer how an employer’s accreditation under AEWV can be suspended or revoked. Starting on October 29th, 2023, accreditation may be suspended if immigration officials or other regulators check to see if the employer is following the rules for immigration, employment, and business. This applies to both official investigations and general checks on compliance. Employers are not allowed to make visa applicants and current visa holders pay for certain expenses.
 
Threshold changes: AEWV Labour Hire Employment: Starting November 27th, 2023, the accredited labour-hire firms placing migrants in specific construction roles must establish a minimum of 35% of their labour-hire workforce consisting of New Zealand citizens and residents in full-time employment. Previously, the threshold was 15%. Existing employers maintaining the 15% threshold are not going to lose their accreditation but now must maintain it at 35%.
 
Processing Time Increased: INZ has reframed its AEWV assessment method to increase the precision and authenticity of job listings and help the employer support
the hiring of migrant workers. In consequence, the processing time of the application has increased. Most applications can now take over 10 days to process. Employers are encouraged to plan for a minimum of six weeks for the completion of accreditation and job check applications, considering the current processing times. This extended
timeframe allows for a thorough assessment and ensures adherence to immigration procedures. In cases where there is an urgent need for allocations, employers have the option to expedite the process by utilising the INZ employment visa escalation procedure, providing a quicker resolution for time-sensitive situations.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the recent changes to New Zealand’s Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) indicate a commitment to fairness and transparency in the treatment of migrant workers. 90-day trial period removal, updates to accreditation processes, an adjusted threshold, and increased processing times signify a comprehensive effort to streamline the visa application system. While these changes may present challenges, they aim to ensure a more equitable and efficient environment for both employers and skilled workers seeking opportunities in New Zealand.
 

Are you also looking forward to working in New Zealand?

These new changes might confuse you. Make sure to connect with a qualified immigration lawyer who can easily explain the complexities of these visa changes and make sure your visa gets approved smoothly. Place your fate in the hands of an expert and keep turning your dreams into reality.

Share at Social

irishexpert

Writer & Blogger

Canada Imposes a Two-Year Cap on International Student Visas Amid the
Housing CrisisCanada Imposes a Two-Year Cap on International Student Visas Amid the Housing Crisis

Housing Cri

In response to a mounting housing crisis and concerns about programme integrity, Canada has recently announced a prominent policy shift: a two-year cap on new international student visas. Immigration Minister Marc Miller disclosed that 364,000 permits would be approved in 2024, impacting prospective students, particularly those from India. With nearly 3.2 lakh Indians already residing in Canada under student visas, the decision reflects the government’s proactive approach to addressing infrastructure challenges and maintaining a sustainable balance in the face of rising numbers of non-permanent residents entering the country.In response to a mounting housing crisis and concerns about programme integrity, Canada
has recently announced a prominent policy shift: a two-year cap on new international student
visas. Immigration Minister Marc Miller disclosed that 364,000 permits would be approved
in 2024, impacting prospective students, particularly those from India. With nearly 3.2 lakh
Indians already residing in Canada under student visas, the decision reflects the government’s
proactive approach to addressing infrastructure challenges and maintaining a sustainable
balance in the face of rising numbers of non-permanent residents entering the country.

Why?

Government Concerns and Policy Rationale

  • The government expresses concerns about the integrity of the student visa program. This decision is going to address pressure on infrastructure and public services due to the influx of international students. The Immigration Minister emphasises the need fora sustainable level of temporary residence

National Application Intake Cap

  • A two-year national application intake cap will be implemented in 2024 to control A two-year national application intake cap will be implemented in 2024 to control growth. Miller states the aim is to prevent further increases in the number of international students in Canada in 2024.
    growth. Miller states the aim is to prevent further increases in the number of
    international students in Canada in 2024.

Reduction in Student Visas

  • There has been an anticipated 35% reduction in new student visas in 2024. The number is down from approximately 560,000 visas issued the previous year. Reassessment of the number of permits to be issued will be done in 2025 at the end of 2024.

Impact on Indian Students

  • Indian students, a significant demographic, are expected to be adversely affected. Canada, a preferred destination for higher studies, is likely to see a decline in Indian students.

International Student Statistics

  • Over 800,000 international students were issued temporary study visas in 2022. Reports indicate that 40% of international students in Canadian institutions were from India in 2022. Indian students accounted for approximately 2.15 lakh permits in November 2023.

Distribution and Federal Requirements

  • Provinces and territories were given autonomy in distributing permits among universities and colleges. Reduction of visa issues up to 50% for some regions.
  • The federal government requires international students to provide an attestation letter from a province or territory when applying for a permit.

Conclusion

Canada’s decision to cap international student visas for two years reflects a strategic response to a housing crisis, concerns about programme integrity, and the need for a sustainable approach to temporary residence. This move is anticipated to impact a significant number of Indian students who consider Canada a preferred destination for their higher education. The reduction in student visas aims to address infrastructure challenges and aligns with the government’s efforts to manage the overall growth of non-permanent residents in the country.

Share at Social

irishexpert

Writer & Blogger

Gain a Germany Visa Faster: News and Updates

Visa processing time reduced to two to five days

Germany is streamlining its visa processes to attract talent,students, and workers from across the globe. This shift paves the way for exciting opportunities for Indians seeking international education and rewarding careers.

The latest update is that the waiting period for a German visa appointment for Indians will now be two to five days. In a recent statement, Phillip Ackermann, the German Ambassador to India, told ANI that the wait time for the current visa processing time has significantly improved compared to last year.This dramatic improvement compared to the past year underscores Germany’s commitment to efficient visa processing, particularly for Indian applicants. Ackermann told ANI, “We have in the last couple of weeks and months improved the visa service as such, that basically, your waiting time for an appointment is between two days and five days, actually. And that’s India-wise. So basically, we are very proud that now, with the current service we are extending to the Indian public, visas can be issued in a very short time, much better than a year ago. And I think we’ll crack this year… I’m very happy to tell you that on the visa front, things are much better than they were.”

Why?


Germany is witnessing a surge in the number of Indian students choosing to pursue their higher education there.
In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the enrolment of Indian students in their universities. According to the data provided by Germany’s academic exchange service, DAAD, in
October, Indian students surpassed Chinese in the academic year 2022–23. They make up 46,200 students, or 12% of the international student population, a staggering 146% increase over the past five years.
This surge aligns perfectly with Germany’s ambitions to fill the gap created by its labour shortages, particularly in skilled vocational sectors.

Conclusion


The streamlining of the immigration and visa processes will allow foreigners to migrate to study or work in Germany. It is being executed through the Skilled Immigration Act.
The Skilled Immigration Act, approved in July 2023, will be executed in three parts, starting this year in November and continuing through March and June of 2024. It will simplify the process for
Indian students and foreign workers, especially those with
vocational and non-academic qualifications. This marks a significant shift from the traditional focus on university degrees, opening doors for skilled artisans, technicians, and professionals from diverse
backgrounds. 60,000 individuals annually are expected to increase the number of non-EU workers in Germany through this reform.
If you wish to migrate to Germany, now is the time. Meet with a qualified immigration lawyer and get one step closer to your stellar

Share at Social

irishexpert

Writer & Blogger

Thrilling changes to Ireland’s Employment Permit System: All you need to know

Ireland recently announced prominent changes to its employment permit system. These changes will help skilled workers from outside the EU to live and work there. The professions facing labour shortages, such as healthcare, IT, and construction, will particularly benefit from these changes.

 

Let’s take a look at the changes:

 

  • Salary Thresholds Going Higher

Starting in January 2024, the salary threshold for most general employment permits is going to be increased. The minimum salary, which was required at 30,000 euros, will go up to 34,000 euros annually. This 4,000 euro jump is excellent as it will encourage the number of work permits and also make family reunifications easier.

Fun fact: This threshold has been the same for the last decade!

 

A table of overall changes:

 

Employment Permit Type

Current Thresholds

Jan 2024

General

€30,000

€34,000

Meat Processing/Horticulture

€22,916

€30,000

Healthcare Assistant/Home Carer

€27,000

€30,000

Butcher/Boner

€27,500

€34,000

 

 

  • General Employment Permits: More Eligible Jobs Added

The Irish government has added 32 new jobs to the list of occupations that are eligible for a general employment permit. Now, the following occupations will be removed from the Ineligible Occupations List, making them eligible for a General Employment Permit, and they will be able to secure work permits without the need to get sponsored by an employer.

  1. Residential Day and Domiciliary Case Managers in Disability Services
  2. Play Therapist in Disability Services
  3. Genetic Counsellor
  4. Social Care Worker
  5. Family Support Workers in Disability Services
  6. Project Offices, Disability
  7. Support workers (social, community, public, and charity)
  8. Guide Dog Mobility Instructor for the Visually Impaired
  9. Autism Assistance Dog Instructor
  10. Pig Managers
  11. Smiths and forge workers
  12. Moulders, core makers, and die casters
  13. Metal plate workers and riveters
  14. Car mechanic, motor mechanic, auto electrician, motor vehicle technician
  15. HGV mechanic
  16. Vehicle bodybuilders and repairers/body shop panel beaters
  17. Electrician, electrical contractor, electrical engineer
  18. Vehicle paint technician
  19. Skilled metal, electrical, and electronic trades’ supervisors
  20. Upholstery and furniture operations
  21. Butchers/ (de)boner
  22. Baker
  23. Furniture makers and other craft woodworkers
  24. Senior Care Workers in Disability Services
  25. Textile Process Operatives
  26. Wood machine operators
  27. Saw Doctor/Wood Machine Mechanic
  28. Armature Rewinder
  29. Pig Farm Assistants
  30. Speciality: Forestry Harvesting Technician

 

  • Critical Skills Occupations List Extended

11 new roles have been added to the extended Critical Occupations List, mentioned below:

Occupations added to the Critical Skills Occupation List:

  1. Professional Forester
  2. Resource modelling, earth observation, and data analyst
  3. Meteorologist
  4. Operational Forecaster
  5. Chemical Engineer
  6. Project Engineer
  7. BIM Manager
  8. Optometrist (Ophthalmic Optician)
  9. Commercial Manager
  10. BIM Coordinator/Technician
  11. Estimator

 

This change will let workers in these professions qualify for a fast-track employment permit process.

 

  • Family Reunifications

It is going to get easier for the families of skilled workers to join them in Ireland due to the increased salary thresholds and extended eligibility for work permits. The government seems committed to supporting family reunification for healthcare workers, etc., as there are several visa options available for dependents of work permit holders.

 

How are these changes going to affect you?

For a skilled worker from outside the EU, these changes could make it easier for them to live and work in Ireland. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The new salary threshold will be implemented on January 17, 2024.

  1. You can find a full list of the jobs now eligible for general employment permits on the website of the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation.
  2. You can find a full list of the critical skill occupations on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality.

 

Overview:

  1. 11 roles were added to the Critical Skills Occupations List.
  2. 32 roles are eligible for a general employment permit.
  3. The salary requirement for a majority of General Employment Permit holders will rise from €30,000 to €34,000 in January 2024.
  4. Healthcare assistants and home carers’ salary requirements will rise from €27,000 to €30,000 in January 2024, while horticultural workers’ and meat processors’ salary requirements will rise from €22,000 to €30,000, bringing them in line with family reunification thresholds.
  5. Extension of existing quotas for dairy farm assistants, butchers and deboners, meat processors, and horticultural workers.
  6. A Labour Market Needs Test (LMNT) is required for General Employment Permit applications and will have to reflect the revised thresholds to be deemed valid.

 

If you are interested in applying for an employment permit in Ireland, we recommend that you contact a qualified immigration lawyer. They can guide you with which type of permit is right for you and help you through the application process.

Share at Social

irishexpert

Writer & Blogger

irish-expert-skills-in-demand-Visa

Australia launching a new Skills in Demand visa: Reasons and Details

In the last week, the Australian government announced their new migration strategy, aiming to revamp the country’s migration system. According to this plan, stricter rules will be imposed on international students and low-skilled workers, which will eventually reduce the net migration in the next two years.

 

Australia has announced a new “Skills in Demand” visa as an aid to tackle the skills gap and to aid workers’ mobility in the labour market. This new visa is going to replace the ‘Temporary Skills Shortage (Subclass 482) Visa and will offer three categorical pathways that are specifically curated to attract temporary skilled workers that are cogs to Australia’s productivity wheels.

 

These are the three pathways introduced under the “Skills in Demand” visa:

 

  • Core Skills Pathways

For those applicants whose occupations align with the new Core Skills Occupation Lists, their earnings should meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold. It will bring skilled workers that the country needs.

 

  • Specialist Skills Pathways

This pathway helps Australian employers quickly hire skilled specialists. To qualify, applicants must meet general employer sponsorship criteria, get a nod from an approved employer, and meet health and character rules. Customised for vital, highly skilled workers, this stream needs a minimum guaranteed annual income of AUD 135,000. This pathway is open to all jobs, except for trades workers, machinery operators, drivers, and labourers.

 

  • Essential Skills Pathways

This pathway, currently under development, is designed for lower-paid essential skills workers whose earnings fall under AUD 70,000.

 

Details to be taken into account:

  • Framing a new model for employers to cover the necessary fees for them to ease the process of hiring international workers.
  • A distinctive feature that will allow the skilled worker to change employers during the validity of their visa is that they are given a 180-day window to find another sponsor while continuing to work.
  • Valid for 4 years, this visa could be a path to permanent citizenship.
  • Chances to update the accredited sponsor pathway, making it easier for approved sponsors to access migrant workers smoothly.
  • Visa processing will be streamlined, aiming for an average service standard of 7 days for the Specialist Skills pathway and 21 days for other streams.

 

Conclusion:

The introduction of the new changes will aid not only in on-boarding critical skills workers but also highlight adaptability. The government said in a statement that this initiative will help both workers and employers alike by providing them with flexibility on both sides.

The “Skills in Demand” Visa is expected to be introduced in late 2024.

Share at Social

irishexpert

Writer & Blogger

The rise in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) in the UK coming in January 2024

In the past year, the UK government has made various prominent changes to its visa, immigration, and study abroad policies. Their motive to do so is simple: a steady decline in the peak-high migration to the UK for the last three years. The latest news is that a compulsory fee, i.e., IHS, is set to be increased in 2024. Let’s start with the basics.

What is IHS?
As per the UK government, IHS is a fee that is mandatory to be paid as a part of your immigration application, if it applies to you. It is a fee that must be paid if you want to avail yourself of free healthcare at the NHS for the duration of your stay.

Who needs to pay for it?
One needs to pay the IHS (if they’re applying for a visa or immigration application):
  • For more than 6 months, if you’ve been applying from outside the UK.
  • For any length of time, if you’re applying from inside the UK.

 

Who does not need to pay for it?

  • One applying for a visitor visa.
  • One applying to remain in the UK permanently.

Otherwise, the IHS is mandatory to be paid (if it applies to you), even if you have private medical insurance.


What changes are coming?
The UK government has proposed in parliament an Immigration Health Surcharge Amendment for 2023, which follows the details of an expected increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

The decision will come into effect on January 16, 2024, if further approved by both houses of parliament.

Once the IHF amendment is approved, the following surge can be seen in IHS:

  • The fees will range from £624 to £1,035 annually, depending on the visa category.
  • For those under 18, students, and youth mobility scheme applicants, the fee will rise from £470 to £776 annually.

If you don’t wish to pay the increased fee, apply for your visa as soon as possible and before January 16, 2024. This change is going to affect every migrant, including the students, the workers, and the people migrating as a family.

 

The backlash:
The IHS, a mandatory fee for accessing NHS healthcare introduced in 2015, has been a subject of debate. Supporters argue that it helps offset healthcare costs, while critics point out that migrants already contribute through employment taxes. The IHS applies to applicants for
certain visas, but not all.
This increase in the fee, along with the other changes in the visa policies, might further lessen the number of immigrants coming to the UK in the coming year.

Conclusion:
Obtaining a UK visa already incurs one of the highest immigration fees, which will increase more because of these adjustments made to the HIS.
The points that should be taken into account are that costs can vary depending on the following factors:
  • Number of years one is planning to stay.
  • IHS is applied per person, so people immigrating as a family have a higher cost.

If you’re looking to apply for a UK visa, set up a meeting with a trusted immigration lawyer who will simplify every detail for you and save you from getting into any confusion. Plan your next move as soon as possible and save yourself from this significant change in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) before it comes into effect on January 16, 2024.


You can also visit https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application for an overview.
NOTE: The information provided is current as of December 16th, 2023, and could be subject to change (according to the UK government).

Share at Social

irishexpert

Writer & Blogger

Open chat
Hello 👋
Can we help you?