Health Surcharge for Indian Students to the UK

Indian students, along with other non-EAA citizens, must pay a health surcharge to the National Health Service. Find out more about the payment process, refund and other details of the health surcharge component of immigration applications.

Indians applying to study abroad with long term (longer than 6 months) programs in the UK usually apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa. During the application process for this visa, students will also be required to pay a health surcharge to the National Health Service (NHS). This is a value of £150 per year (or £75 for every 6-month period. This surcharge allows Tier 4 visa holders to avail of most NHS healthcare treatments for free, and is very useful to international students to save money during unforeseen illnesses or accidents during their stay in the UK. Some services, such as prescriptions, will still require payments.

How to pay the NHS surcharge

The surcharge is to be paid during the visa application process. The UK visa application process is generally online, and students must pay the amount during the application and return to the online immigration application within 30 minutes. Payment can be made with a credit card or a debit card.

The cost of the surcharge is £150 per year. If your course includes a part of a year that is less than 6 months, you have to pay £75 for that portion of your program. If your course includes a part of a year more than 6 months, you have to pay the full amount of £150 for that year. In such a case, you will receive a partial refund automatically for the excess payment. In other words, if your program is 2 years in duration and you are applying for a maximum of 2 year 5 months leave to study in the UK, you have to pay a surcharge of £375 at the time of application.

After payment, you will receive an email with an IHS reference number, after which you can complete your visa application form and pay your visa application fee.

If you are applying for a visa through an authorized visa agent, you can pay the surcharge when booking an appointment. If you are applying through a service agent, you will be asked to mention your course dates. If you have dependents with you, you can pay in the same way.

If you do not pay the surcharge in full, you will be contacted by the visa authorities. Your visa application will be rejected in case of non-payment within a period of 7 working days.

Getting Refunds

If for some reason your visa application is refused, or you withdraw your application, or if you paid twice by mistake, you will be automatically refunded to the same account that was charged.

You will also get a partial refund if your visa application is accepted but you are granted less time on your visa or any dependents on your application are refused visas.

Refunds are usually processed and completed within 90 days of the application decision. If you apply for an administrative review in case of rejection, your refunds can take longer.

Note that if you extend your visa from within the UK, you have to pay a surcharge for your visa application again, according to the same rules of payment.

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