Pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application

2. When you need to pay

For visa applications made outside the UK, you’ll have to pay if:

  • you’re a national of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • you’re applying for a visa to work, study or join your family in the UK for more than 6 months (but you’re not applying to remain in the UK permanently)

For immigration applications made from within the UK, you’ll have to pay if:

  • you’re a national of a country outside the EEA
  • you’re making an immigration application for any length of time, including applications for 6 months or less (but you’re not applying to remain in the UK permanently)

You’ll still need to pay even if you have private medical insurance.

When you’ll need an IHS reference number

You still need to use the payment service to get an immigration health surcharge (IHS) reference number but you won’t need to pay if:

  • you’re a child under 18 who has been taken into care by a local authority
  • you’re a relevant civilian employee employed by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) or the Australian Department of Defence in the UK (or you’re their dependant)

The service will tell you that you don’t have to pay anything and will give you your healthcare surcharge reference number for your application.

You’ll be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) even if you’re exempt from paying.

When you don’t have to pay or get an IHS reference number

You don’t need to get an IHS reference number or pay the healthcare surcharge if:

  • you’re applying for a visitor visa
  • you’re applying for a visa (from outside the UK) for 6 months or less
  • you’re applying for indefinite leave to remain
  • you’re a diplomat or a member of a visiting armed forces and not subject to immigration control
  • you’re a dependant of a member of the UK’s armed forces
  • you’re the dependant of a member of another country’s armed forces who is exempt from immigration control
  • you’re a family member of a European national with European Union treaty rights
  • you’re applying for a visa for the Isle of Man or Channel Islands
  • you’re a British Overseas Territory citizen resident in the Falkland Islands
  • you’re an asylum seeker or applying for humanitarian protection (or you’re their dependant)
  • you’re a domestic worker who has been identified as a victim of slavery or human trafficking
  • you’re applying for discretionary leave to remain in the UK as someone who has been identified as a victim of slavery or human trafficking (or you’re their dependant)
  • the Home Office’s domestic violence concession applies to you (or you’re their dependant)
  • being made to leave the UK would be against your rights under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (or you’re their dependant)

You’ll be able to use the National Health Service (NHS) if you’re exempt from paying - except if you’re on a visitor visa or any visa that will only last for 6 months or less (that you applied for from outside the UK). You’ll have to pay for care you get through the NHS at the point you use it.

You’ll have to pay the healthcare surcharge if you applied for indefinite leave to remain but are only given limited leave. You’ll be told by UK Visas and Immigration if this happens.