The Immigration Health Surcharge: Scrapped for all NHS Workers

Written by ID Medical


There’s been some changes to the Government’s Immigration Health Surcharge just recently, but what exactly has changed, and how will it affect foreign nationals who choose to live and work in the UK? Let’s find out…

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)?

When you enter and live in the UK, the IHS is used to fund the healthcare you’ll receive from the UK’s National Healthcare Service (NHS). So, when you visit a doctor’s surgery, healthcare centre or hospital, you’ll not need to pay for your treatment.

You should note however, that you may need to pay for dental and optical treatment and any medicine that’s prescribed to you by a doctor. Charges for perscriptions can vary, so if you’d like to discover more detailed information on pricing, just hit this link.

Who has to pay the IHS?

Prior to Thursday 21st May 2020, everyone entering the UK on a Tier 2 visa would need to pay the IHS, including those who worked in healthcare. However, the UK Government have now made the fee exempt for all NHS workers and their dependants. 

This is an excellent achievement as the immigration health surcharge was set to increase from £400 per year, per person to £624 per year, per person.

This is a fantastic way to say thank you to all the hardworking, dedicated and passionate NHS workers that have come to the UK and risked their lives to save others in the pandemic.

If I don’t need to pay, when can I start using the NHS?

The changes have mean that you don’t have to pay to use the NHS when you arrive here in the UK. Instead, you’ll be provided with immediate access to use the NHS and its services when your visa is granted and you have arrived in the UK.

I have recently paid the Immigration Health Surcharge, will I receive a refund?

If you paid your Immigration Health Surcharge fee after 31st March 2020, you will be entitled to a full refund.

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the immigration health surcharge, concerns or queries please do email us at and of course, we will be able to guide you.


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  • Securing an NHS post
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  • Securing UK accommodating
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  • Settling into the UK
  • Ongoing pastoral support

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  1. Divya Shijo

    Excemption os only for nhs staff or their dependent as well

    • ID Medical

      Hi Divya,

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the UK Home Office has not yet shared this information; but we’ll let you know as soon as we have an update.

      All the best,

      ID Medical

    • Gill

      Good day. Is there any indication when the scrapping of the NHS surcharge will be implemented for the Tier 2 visa application?

      • ID Medical

        Hi Gill, thanks for the comment.

        Government Officials are working hard to implement it and we expect to hear an update in the next coming weeks – which we’ll of course share with you!

        In the meantime, if you have any further questions, feel free to get in touch with us directly and we’ll be happy to help.

  2. Deena

    Is this relaxation applicable to the dependents also?

    • ID Medical

      Hello Deena,

      Thanks for your comment. We’re afraid the UK Home Office has not yet shared this information; but we’ll let you know as soon as we have an update.

      All the best,

      ID Medical

  3. Alaaeldin Amin

    Do you have any information whether dependants/family members will have to pay the IHS or not?
    Helpline of Home Office claims the exemption is only for the main applicant.

    • ID Medical

      Hello Dr Amin,

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the UK Home Office has not yet shared this information. We’ll let you know as soon as we have an update.

      All the best,

      ID Medical

  4. Junaid

    Do we know when exactly it will be implemented as NHS workers still have to pay as we speak.
    And whether the IHS paid after the announcement be refunded or not.

    • ID Medical

      Hi there, thanks for raising this question.

      Unfortunately, the UK Home Office has not released when this change will be implemented – of course, we’ll aim to update you as soon as this changes or we receive any further info.

      All the best

      ID Medical


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