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Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee charged to some visa applicants for access to the National Health Service while living in the UK.

Will I have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?

If you are applying for a Student Visa (or Child Student Visa) from outside the UK and your course is longer than 6 months, you will have to pay the surcharge. If you are applying from within the UK, you will have to pay the surcharge regardless of the course length.

How is the Immigration Health Surcharge calculated?

The Immigration Health Surcharge is an annual charge, which you pay in advance for the duration of your studies. The calculation is based on the amount of leave (i.e. time) you are given to remain in the UK when your visa is granted. This is usually between 2 - 4 months longer than the length of your course.

When calculating the charge, the amount of leave you have been granted is rounded up to the nearest half year. For example, if your have leave to remain for 13 months, the surcharge will be for 1.5 years and if you have leave to remain for 18 months, the surcharge will be for 2 years.

Note: if you are studying a pathway course (e.g. foundation year, international year one or pre-master's) and you apply for a single visa to cover both the pathway and progression degree, you will be given leave to remain for the combined duration of both courses.

The Government provides an online calculator, so you can calculate the amount you will have to pay (see Further Information below).

How do I pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?

You must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge at the same time you submit and pay for your visa application. This is in addition to the visa application fee. That means you will be required to make two separate payments (the IHS and the visa application fee) when you submit your visa application.

What do I get for the money I pay?

You get full access to the UK's National Health Service for the duration of your studies.

Is the charge refunded under any circumstances?

If your visa application is refused or you withdraw your application, the charge will refunded automatically to the card or bank account you used to pay the charge. In other circumstances (e.g. your visa is granted, but you don't come to the UK or you leave the UK before your visa expires), you will not get a refund.

Also In This Section

Further Information

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this section is for guidance only. You should always check with the UK Government's Website (Visas & Immigration) for the latest information before applying for a student visa. Failure to follow the correct procedures is likely to result in your application being refused and could affect your ability to obtain a visa in the future.

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