Pay for UK healthcare as part of your immigration application

1. Overview

You might need to pay a healthcare surcharge (called the ‘immigration health surcharge’ or IHS) as part of your immigration application.

Whether you need to pay depends on the immigration status you’re applying for.

When you must pay

If you’re making your immigration application online or through a premium service centre, you pay the surcharge as part of your application or when you book an appointment.

If you’re applying by post, you pay the surcharge online before you send your application. You’ll need to include the IHS reference number on your application form.

When you can start to use the NHS

You can start using the National Health Service (NHS) when both:

  • you’ve paid the healthcare surcharge (or are exempt from paying it)
  • your visa or immigration application is granted

You’ll still need to pay for certain types of services, such as prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests.

You should bring your biometric residence permit with you when you access healthcare in the UK.