Immigration Health Surcharge

Is There an Immigration Health Surcharge for UK Fiancé Visa UK Applicants?

When applying for a UK Fiancé Visa, a common query that occurs is whether there’s an immigration health surcharge (IHS) fee involved. The straightforward answer is no; this visa does not require such a fee.

The healthcare surcharge, typically mandatory for various other visa categories, financially supports the National Health Service (NHS). This ensures that individuals moving to the UK contribute to its public healthcare system as they will also receive free healthcare services just like any other UK nationals. 

The UK Fiancé Visa, however, stands as an exception to this rule due to its unique nature. In this article, we’ll discuss what the healthcare surcharge fee represents, its purpose, and why the Fiancé Visa is exempt. Let’s get started. 

Read More: How Long Does UK Fiance Visa Processing Time Take?

What Is the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) Fee?

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a crucial component of the UK’s visa and immigration application. Implemented to maintain the funding of the National Health Service (NHS), this fee enables visa applicants to access NHS services, much like UK nationals. 

The surcharge applies to most UK visa categories, including spouse, worker, and student visas. It was introduced in 2015 by the UK government to ensure that those arriving in the UK for more than six months contribute to the health system.

This surcharge must be paid even if the individual has private health insurance, as it is not a substitute for accessing NHS services. The fee reflects the Home Office’s approach to health and care for those residing within its borders, ensuring everyone contributes to and benefits from the NHS. 

How Much Is the IHS Fee in 2024?

Understanding the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is crucial for those planning to apply for a UK visa. 

As of the latest guidelines, the standard IHS fee is set at £1,035 per adult per year. For children and students, a discounted rate applies, which is currently £776 per year. Previously, the fee was £624 per year for adults and £470 for children and students.

Applicants must disburse the immigration health surcharge fee online when submitting their application form. Upon successful payment, they receive an IHS reference number, which must be included in their visa application. 

It’s vital to ensure this payment is made accurately to avoid delays or issues with the visa application process.

Read More: How to file for a fiance visa UK?

Why Is the Surcharge Not Required for a Fiancé Visa?

Any visa that lasts six months or less, such as a UK fiance visa and visitor visa applicants, doesn’t require paying the surcharge. 

Primarily, the UK Fiancé Visa is designed as a temporary visa granting permission to enter the UK for the intention of weddings or civil partnerships. The visa typically lasts for six months, a duration considered too brief to necessitate contributions towards the NHS through the IHS. 

Moreover, the expectation is that individuals on a Fiancé Visa will transition to a different visa category, such as a spouse visa, after marriage. Upon this transition, they will then be subject to the usual immigration rules and fees, including the IHS, for their subsequent leave to remain in the UK.

Also Read: How Long Does UK Fiance Visa Last?

Other Fees Associated With UK Fiancé Visa

While the UK Fiancé Visa is exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), applicants should be aware of other fees associated with this visa category. Understanding these expenses is essential for proper financial planning and a smooth application process.

Visa Application Fee

The primary cost for a UK Fiancé Visa application 2024 is the visa fee, amounting to £1,846. This fee is required by the Home Office for processing the application and is the most significant upfront cost applicants will encounter.

Legal and Advisory Fees

Seeking assistance from an immigration lawyer or advisor incurs additional costs. These professionals provide valuable guidance on completing the application form, collating the necessary documents, and offering advice on complex situations, such as applying from outside the UK or if the applicant has been made to leave the UK previously.

Tuberculosis (TB) Test Certificate

Applicants from certain countries are required to provide a TB test certificate, which can cost between £65 and £110. This fee may escalate if the applicant needs to travel to a designated test centre, particularly if it involves international travel.

Document Translations

For non-English or Welsh documents, translation is mandatory. The cost varies based on the document’s length, the language, and the number of documents needing translation. 

English Language Test

Applicants not from a majority English-speaking country or without a relevant UK degree must pass an approved English language test, like the IELTS Life Skills A1, costing approximately £150. Failure to pass on the first attempt necessitates additional costs for retaking the test.

Priority Visa Services

Opting for priority processing of the fiancé visa application incurs additional fees, starting from £500. This service accelerates the application through each stage of the decision-making process but may not be suitable for all applicants.

Also Read: How to Get a UK Fiance Visa: A Comprehensive Guide

Need Help with Your Fiancé Visa Application?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the complexities of the Fiancé Visa application process, Spouse Visa Lawyers is here to help. Our team of skilled immigration lawyers specialises in UK partner visas and is committed to delivering personalised, expert direction every step of the way.

We’ll assist you with everything from understanding the application fees to preparing your documents and addressing any specific concerns you might have. We aim to simplify the procedure for you, ensuring a smooth and stress-free application experience.

Contact Spouse Visa Lawyers for a consultation, and let’s make your journey to a successful Fiancé Visa application as seamless as possible. We’re here to support and guide you through every stage of the process.

You Ask, We Answer

FAQs

Yes, the immigration health surcharge fee is separate from the visa application fees and must be paid in addition to any other fees associated with the visa application.

If your UK visa application is refused, you may be eligible for a refund of the immigration health surcharge. However, it is important to seek advice from an immigration lawyer to understand the specific implications of your case.

The NHS surcharge contributes to funding the National Health Service and allows visa holders to access healthcare services in the UK during their stay.

The immigration health surcharge is a mandatory requirement for most types of visas that last more than six months, including family visas, skilled worker visas, and other categories of visas.

The information provided in our articles is intended solely for guidance and should not be considered legal advice. We do not assume responsibility for any liabilities arising from the information in written articles and recommend that all readers seek professional advice before taking any action. For those wishing to discuss their case with a professional, please feel free to contact us directly.

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