Remember the hefty hike in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) announced in October? It was supposed to hit on January 16th, but thanks to a Parliamentary debate looming on the 10th, there’s a slight reprieve. The increase now can’t happen until 21 days after it becomes law, making January 31st the earliest start date.
Brace yourself for a jump from £624 to £1035 per year for adults and £477 to £776 for kids. Most visa applications exceeding 6 months will trigger the charge, except for EU Settlement Scheme visitors and Indefinite Leave to Remain seekers (check here for all exemptions).
What does this mean for you?
Breathe easy if you were scrambling to submit before the 16th! The delay gives you precious breathing room. But hold on, there’s more.
Impact on UK immigration?
The government claims this whopping 66% increase will have a “negligible” impact. They predict a minor dip in IHS-liable visas, with some discouraged applicants. While fewer initial applications and maybe pickier employers are possibilities, the long-term impact on attracting skilled individuals, especially top talent, might be minimal.
If you’re visa-bound, especially for skilled roles, proceed ASAP, ideally before January’s end. This unexpected breather might be all you need to secure your UK future!