Visa Application Fee Increases, New Health Surcharge

UK visa application fees

As is the normal yearly routine, Home Office/British Embassy visa application fees will be increasing as from 6 April 2015. Most fees will be increasing, some by 8 per cent and some by more. A few fees will be left unchanged and a few fees will actually be reduced.

Starting April 6, 2015, the Government is also instituting an additional fee called Health Surcharge that applies only to non-EEA visa applicants – intended to cover temporary migrants’ use of NHS services and cover associated costs. This new charge may affect certain categories of non-EEA applicants but will ultimately pass along to NHS.

Settled Status in the UK refers to an immigration status granted to eligible EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who lived and worked in the UK before December 31st (the end of Brexit transition period) without facing immigration restrictions or penalties. Individuals eligible can maintain residency without incurring immigration penalties and restrictions affecting living and working opportunities within its borders. Settled Status is part of the UK government’s EU Settlement Scheme, which was introduced to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members residing in the UK after Brexit. Once granted Settled Status, individuals gain permission to remain permanently in the UK while enjoying various services and benefits available there.

UK Visa Health Surcharge: Costs, Exemptions, and Refunds Explained

Visa applicants will owe an annual health surcharge fee calculated as PS200; students’ health surcharge will be reduced by one third and must cover two years instead of three. Thus if applying for three year visa will incur health surcharge of PS600 per annum; while in cases if students, that surcharge should cover only half (PS450 per year). It will be payable by visa applicants applying outside the UK or inside the UK. But there are various exemptions to the health surcharge including, most importantly:

  • It will only be payable by non-EEA applicants
  • It will not have to paid by visitors
  • It will not have to be paid by Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visa applicants
  • It will not have to paid by applicants applying for six months leave or less
  • Nationals of Australia and New Zealand will not have to pay it
  • Asylum/humanitarian protection applicants will not have to pay it

If an unsuccessful visa applicant pays the health surcharge, their health surcharge should automatically be returned back.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK is an immigration status that grants an individual the right to live and work in the country without any time restrictions. ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent residency) allows individuals to remain permanently in the UK and provides them with numerous advantages, including access to public funds, healthcare services and education facilities.

Richard Maxwell

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