Blogs > Visas

Immigration Health Surcharge

  • May 28, 2019

The Immigration Health Surcharge (NHS Surcharge) costs £400 per year for each year of the length of your Tier 2 visa. Once you have paid your IHS, you will be entitled to receive free health services under the NHS.

Please note, it is mandatory to pay the surcharge.

If your visa is for 6 months or less, then you will have to pay half the annual amount (£200).

Click here to calculate how much you will need to pay.

Who has to pay the NHS Surcharge?

All non-European doctors and nurses and their dependents will need to pay the surcharge when applying for a Tier 2 visa (or a Tier 2 dependents visa).

Who does not need to pay the IHS fee?

  • If you are in the UK on a Standard UK Visit Visa
  • You are applying for indefinite leave to remain
  • You are a dependent of a member of the UK’s armed forces
  • You are a family member of a European national with European Union Treat rights
  • You are applying for a visa for the Isle of Man or Channel Islands
  • You are an asylum seeker

If you are on a Standard Visit Visa and need to use the NHS, you will be charged for each treatment you receive (at a cost of 150% of the cost of the treatment) and so, it is important to ensure that you have travel and health insurance.

I applied for my IHS along with my dependents and I was charged too much. What should I do?

Where the time period applied for is shorter than the maximum period permitted under the Tier 2 visa, an NHS Surcharge for the maximum period (3 years) may be charged for your dependents. If this does happen, a partial refund should automatically be paid of the charge for the additional years over the main applicant’s visa length.

Example: If you have been allocated a two-year CoS under a Tier 2 visa, you will pay £800 for your own IHS. Then, if you have a spouse, you may be charged £1200 (£400 x 3 years) with the extra £400 refunded after the application has been decided.

Please note, if your visa application is refused, then you will automatically be refunded your IHS fee, but not the cost of the visa application itself.

When can I start using the NHS?

  • You have paid the healthcare surcharge
  • Your Tier 2 visa application is granted

Please note, you will still need to pay for other healthcare services such as prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests. Remember to bring your biometric residence permit when you access healthcare in the UK.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor or nurse who plans to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we will be happy to help you on your journey to the UK.

Join our Facebook Group IMG Advisor

By joining our Facebook Group, you will have access to frequent relocation blog posts, the opportunity to ask questions and receive professional guidance and the chance to meet other IMGs.


GOV.UK. (2019). Pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2019]. (2019). Cost and payment of applications, Personnel Services site. [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 May 2019].


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