The government of the UK released Budget 2020 on March 12th, 2020. It claims to deliver the promises made by the conservatives during their election campaign last year before setting foot on the throne.
Among all the other stated promises, increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was one. IHS is a system that helps in the funding of the healthcare centres from the UK National Health Service (NHS).
This is a necessary condition for making the visa application. Students have to pay immigration health surcharge. This means that they will not have to pay for any health care services, surgery, operation and other hospital-related activities.
The IHS is to be paid by the immigrants who wish to reside in the country for over six months.
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What is IHS?
Immigration health surcharge has always been in practice in the UK since 2015. The migrants from outside have been required to pay the surcharge under the democratic coalition government in the UK.
The immigration health surcharge fee has always seen a rise in its amount since its introduction. The amount is payable by the migrants who wish to remain in the UK and their for longer than six months. This can, later on, help them to use the NHS during their stay in the country.
The IHS fees differ for adults and children who apply under the various categories of the UK. For adults and children, the present IHS fee is £400 per year. However, the current fees for students are £300 per year.
Many immigrants and applicants find it challenging to pay the inclusive amount that only adds up to the costs of visa application. There is no choice, and the immigrants have to pay the required amount. To many, this is just a way of attracting money to their business.
To take an example, let us consider a visa application for three years. Now, a Tier 2 (General Visa) application would already cost £610. Adding the IHS value, the total amount thus becomes £400×3 = £1,810.
Implementation of the rise in IHS fees from October 20th
There has been an announcement of a gradual change in the IHS feed for adults, children under age and the students respectively. It would be implemented from October 20th 2020.
This amendment will apply to EEA nationals travelling to the UK for over more than six years starting from January 2021. The government has sought to increase the IHS fees to £624 per year for adults. The increase is set to £470 per year for the children under the age of 18 years.
This decision is taken considering the current scenario. It is being evaluated that this increase would limit the interest of those who wish to migrate to the UK. Since it will directly hit their budget and contribute to high costs of visa application.
Considering the same example mentioned above, let us now calculate the total cost with the revised IHS feed. This would then become £610+ IHS for 3 years; (£624×3 = £1,872 = £2482).
What Might be the Outcome?
The UK government is trying to fund its National Health Service. This is an attempt to help its citizens benefit from the medical provisions to be provided to them.
But it is equally important to look at the future consequences that their financial stability might suffer. People are advised to apply for their visas before that act comes into effect.