Photo by <a href="" rel="nofollow">Christin Hume</a> on <a href="" rel="nofollow">Unsplash</a>

The UK government has announced that there will be a 66% increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. This increase is part of the government’s efforts to fund the National Health Service (NHS) and ensure migrants contribute their fair share towards healthcare costs.

The IHS is a fee that non-EEA nationals must pay when applying for a visa to live, work, or study in the UK for more than six months. It grants them access to NHS services during their stay in the country. Currently, the surcharge is set at £400 per year for most visa applicants and £300 per year for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme.

From January 31 onwards, the IHS will be increased to £624 per year for most visa applicants and £470 per year for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme. This means that individuals applying for a visa for five years will have to pay a total of £3,120, compared to the current fee of £2,000.

The government estimates that this increase will generate an additional £220 million per year for the NHS. This funding will be used to support and improve healthcare services for both migrants and UK residents.

It is important to note that this increase will not affect individuals who have already paid the IHS or those who have applied for a visa before the implementation date. They will continue to pay the current fee for the duration of their visa.

The government has stated that the increase in the IHS is necessary to ensure that migrants make a fair contribution to the NHS, which provides vital healthcare services to everyone in the UK. This increase aligns with the government’s commitment to a sustainable and efficient healthcare system.

While this increase may add to the financial burden for non-EEA nationals, it is important to consider its long-term benefits to the healthcare system. By increasing the IHS, the government aims to ensure that the NHS remains adequately funded and can provide high-quality healthcare services to all residents of the UK.

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