The Home Office has recently provided additional guidance on the modifications to business immigration in the UK, bringing forth significant changes that applicants and businesses need to be aware of. As part of the government’s commitment to managing net migration, the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is set to experience a substantial increase starting from 6 February 2024. Let’s explore the details of the IHS Fee 2024, including the latest updates and its impact on visa applicants and businesses.
Understanding the IHS Fee 2024: Latest Updates
- Increase Percentage: The IHS is scheduled to surge by an astounding 66%.
- New Annual Rates: Effective from 6 February 2024, the fee for individuals over 18 will rise from £624 to £1,035 per year. For children under 18, the increase is from £470 to £776 per year.
These adjustments in the IHS Fee 2024 reflect the government’s broader strategy to ensure that immigrants contribute adequately to the National Health Service (NHS).
The Broader Landscape: Business Immigration Changes
April 2024 Updates:
- General Salary Threshold: From April 2024, the general salary threshold is expected to increase to £26,200 for all jobs at level 3 or above RQF.
- Sponsorship Considerations: Employers may need to reconsider their sponsorship strategies, potentially favoring higher positions to avoid exceeding market rates for junior roles.
Importantly, Health and Care visa holders and education workers under the national pay scale remain unaffected by these changes, providing some relief amid the evolving immigration landscape.
Navigating Dependents and Health and Care Visas
A significant shift is occurring for dependents of individuals on Health and Care visas. Post the policy change, these dependents will no longer be allowed to join their family members in the UK. However, those currently holding this visa can still have their dependents with them during extensions, job changes, and permanent residency applications.
As the UK IHS Fee 2024 takes effect, visa applicants and businesses alike need to adapt to these changes in the immigration landscape. The increased fees underscore the government’s commitment to funding the NHS through contributions from immigrants. Businesses must strategize their hiring processes, considering the new salary thresholds, while individuals should be aware of the financial implications of the IHS Fee increase.
Q1: Why is the IHS increasing in 2024?
A: The IHS is increasing in 2024 as part of the UK government’s efforts to manage net migration effectively and ensure immigrants contribute more to the NHS.
Q2: How will the IHS Fee 2024 affect businesses?
A: Businesses sponsoring immigrants may need to reassess their budgeting as the increased IHS Fee adds to the overall cost of bringing in foreign talent.
Q3: Are there any exceptions to the IHS Fee increase?
A: Health and Care visa holders and education workers under the national pay scale will not be affected by the IHS Fee increase, providing some stability for certain categories.