Immigration Health (NHS) Surcharge

From 1 February 2022 the NHS Surcharge for Skilled Worker and Tier 5 applicants is calculated based on the length of their visa, not their CoS, which may result in higher fees

Please see the SIT article on this change in how the NHS Surcharge is calculated for Skilled Worker and Tier 5 applicants.


What is the NHS Surcharge and how much is it?

The National Health Service (NHS) Surcharge is paid as a part of the visa application and grant the visa holder access to free health services in the UK.

The NHS surcharge is calculated based on the length of visa being applied for, and costs

  • £624 per year, or a reduced fee of
  • £470 per year, for applicants under the age of 18 at the time of the application
  • £470 per year for a student or Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme)

If the visa period includes part of a year that is 6 months or less, half the annual amount (for example £312) will be payable. If the period includes part of a year that is more than 6 months the full annual amount (£624) is payable.


To find out the total amount, use the Immigration Health Surcharge calculator  

Who has to pay the NHS Surcharge?

All (European and non-European) applicants, and each of their dependants, must pay the NHS Surcharge when applying for a visa.

The NHS Surcharge does not apply to:

  • Visitor visa categories (such as Business Visitor, General Visitor (tourist), and Academic Visitor - even if over 6 months)
  • Visas to enter the UK (applications submitted overseas) which are issued for less than 6 months duration

These visa holders will be charged for any NHS treatment they receive (at a rate of 150% of the cost of treatment) and should therefore ensure that they have adequate travel and health insurance.

Europeans who were resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 and are applying for Pre-Settled or Settled status are not required to pay the NHS Surcharge and will have full access to NHS treatment. Irish nationals are not required to apply for a UK visa as they are treated the same as British nationals and have full access to NHS treatment.

Can the NHS Surcharge be refunded?

If a visa application is refused or rejected the NHS Surcharge will be automatically refunded. 

A refund will be made to the applicants account used to make the initial payment. If a refund is not provided within 3 months please contact the Staff Immigration Team.


There is no refund if:

  • the applicant obtains a visa but decides not to come to the UK
  • the visa holder resigns and leaves the UK while the visa is still valid* 
  • the visa is curtailed by the Home Office* 

    * even if the visa holder did not use the National Health Service during their period of residence in the UK.


Do I still need to pay the NHS Surcharge if I have private medical insurance? 

Yes. The NHS Surcharge must still be paid as a part of the visa application even if you have, or take out, private medical insurance. 


Why did my dependants pay more in NHS Surcharge than me when our visas are the same length? Will this be refunded? 

Dependant visas should be issued for the same length of time as the main applicant's visa.

However, where the validity of the visa is shorter than the maximum period permitted under the visa category in question (up to 3 years or up to 5 years), an NHS Surcharge for the maximum period may be charged for dependants.


In this circumstance, a partial refund should automatically be paid of the charge for the additional years over the main applicant's visa length.


For example, an application for 2 years under the Skilled Worker visa 'up to 3 years' category would attract an NHS Surcharge of £1,248 for the main applicant, however, an adult dependant may be charged £1,872 (£624 x 3 years) with the extra £624 refunded after the applications have been decided.

If the refund has not been provided within 3 months after the payment was made, please contact the Staff Immigration Team. 


Is there further information about the NHS Surcharge?

For further information please see Home Office guidance in relation to Paying for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application.

Please note

When applying for a visa online the NHS Surcharge is paid as one of the steps of the online application so payment should not be made through this Home Office website.

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