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Immigration Health Surcharge

The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)

You will need to pay the IHS if you apply in the UK, or if you apply outside the UK for immigration permission that will allow you to stay in the UK for more than six months.

This fee is payable so that you can have access to hospital treatment from the NHS (National Health Service) while you are in the UK.

The IHS is calculated at £470 per year of Student immigration permission that will be granted (rounded up to six months).

You will be granted additional time before and after your studies. To work out how much immigration permission you will be granted, see the table in the Check it section.

Here are some examples:

Course length/type

Pre-sessional English (applying for immigration permission outside the UK)


Pre-sessional English (applying for immigration permission inside the UK)


1 year master’s degree


3 year undergraduate degree


4 year PhD


Anyone who has been awarded a Chevening, Marshall or Commonwealth Scholarship is exempt from paying the IHS.

The IHS payment is integrated within the Student online visa application. If you are liable to pay the health surcharge, or if you are exempt but require an IHS reference number, when you are completing your Student online form you will be automatically directed to the IHS payment website. Once you have completed the IHS process you will be issued an IHS reference number and you will be redirected back to your immigration application form.

If you are applying to extend your Student immigration permission to continue on your current course, then you can write your start date as the day after your current Tier 4 or Student visa expires, in order for the IHS to be calculated correctly. 

If you are applying outside of the UK, the website will quote the fee in the local currency. Please note that we have observed that the exchange rates which the Home Office is using appear to have 2-7% of additional loading fees.

If you are applying to extend your immigration permission inside the UK, you will continue to have free access to NHS hospital treatment while your application is being processed as long as you make your immigration application before your current immigration permission expires. While your immigration extension application is being processed, you should keep evidence of your IHS payment in case it is not clear to hospital staff that you have paid.

Nationals of the EU

The UK Government web pages confirm that if you begin a course of study in the UK that is longer than 6 months, and pay the immigration health surcharge (IHS) as a part of your visa application, you may be entitled to a full or partial refund if you’re a full-time student in higher education and have an EHIC issued by an EU country.

You will not be eligible for a refund if you work in the UK while studying.

You won’t be able to apply for a refund until 1 January 2022. However, your refund will be backdated to include any IHS payments made since 1 January 2021.

If you intend to apply for a refund of your immigration health surcharge payment, you should use your EU EHIC for medically necessary treatment during your studies.


Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

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