The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) was brought into effect in 2015 and has contributed more than GBP 600 million towards funding for the National Health Service (NHS) since it was introduced. IHS is a surcharge that those who are immigrating to the UK either for work, to study or to join a family member have to pay in order to receive free NHS hospital treatment as if they were a UK resident, if they are staying for 6 months or more. IHS provides cover for as long as the visa is in date, from the start date of the visa until the end date. It applies to all non-EEA nationals and dependents.
From 8 January 2019, the amount to be paid will increase from GBP 200 to GBP 400 per person per year and the discounted rate for students on the Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from GBP 150 to GBP 300. From this increase, the NHS could receive an estimated GBP 220 million in extra funding.
Employers should bear in mind the increased IHS costs when sending assignees to the UK for more than six months.