Autumn’s Approach ushers in new visa and health surcharge fees surge in the UK
Often we Indians have a dream of visiting the UK at least once in our lifetime. It may be simply through a tourist visa to see the iconic Victorian landmarks, breath-taking coastal views, or the Scottish Highlands, or a student visa to pursue higher education at one of the historical universities, or a work visa to get employed in a top notch UK-based firm/organization/company. We may have different plans, but it is important to update oneself with the latest changes in the visa application.
And one such latest update from the UK government is regarding the new fee structure for visa and health surcharge applications. Aimed towards meeting the surge in public sector wages, as the government attempts to settle disputes with trade unions over salary and employment terms. A hike of 15 % and 66% in the Visa and Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) (hereinafter “health surcharge”) fees has been set out, respectively, across the board. However, there has been no official announcement from the incumbency as to when this substantial top up in the fees will come into effect. Moreover, the timing of the updates suggest that it may be as soon as Autumn 2023.
Key changes expected:-
Precise information with respect to the latest rules and regulations are expected soon, but the key changes are:
Rise in the health surcharge, and exceptions to the same:-
Frosted for the past three years, a surge in the health surcharge would heavily impact the total price of visa applications. And this is especially with respect to families. It is important to understand that the payment of a health surcharge is important as it ensures access to cost-free health care services for the visa applicants through the National Health Service (NHS). Now this is irrespective of the fact that the applicant has private medical insurance cover. Further, the payment of the health surcharge is made in a lump sum together with the other visa fees. The expected hike in the overall health surcharge will help compensate for the rise in the payment to doctors.
It is not necessary for everyone to pay the health surcharge fee. A person applying for a work visa for more than a period of 6 months must pay the same. However, there are certain applicants who are exempted from making the said payment. These include:
Suggestions to the Employer
Amidst the cost of living crisis, the hike in the fee structure will result in some real difficulties for individuals and businesses, with special emphasis upon new start-ups and Small and Medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
It is utterly important that a few factors are well considered by these employers to minimize these challenges:
Connect with our team of immigration lawyers for expert assistance
These headways are always tracked by the Irish Expert. Should you have any query, or need some expert advice and assistance in relation to the UK immigration laws, including crucial updates on the visa application, contact our team of immigration lawyers. Our experienced immigration lawyers assist individuals with visas, and other immigration matters across India, UK, and the UAE. We provide every client personalized access to a team of lawyers who minutely understand the complicated nexus of immigration laws and the extensive impact of these legal rules on an individual’s life. Our aim is to guide and help you !