The Immigration NHS Surcharge

As of 6 April 2015, Non-EEA nationals making UK visa applications are required to pay an NHS surcharge, often referred to as the ‘immigration health surcharge’. Although this will add an additional cost to the visa application, it will entitle the applicant to free National Health Service (NHS) healthcare. However, it should be understood that prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests still need to be paid for.

The NHS is seen as something that is quite unique to the UK, so being able to claim free healthcare is a privilege. However, even though the applicant has paid the surcharge, it doesn’t entitle them to be treated quicker than anyone else.

The charge would be applicable to Thai Wives looking to move to the UK on a more permanent basis on a UK Spouse Visa, often referred to as a UK Marriage Visa. In this instance, the applicant would need to pay a sum of £200 per year and it should be fully understood that your visa application will not be accepted unless you pay the immigration health surcharge.

If the applicant is applying from outside the UK it should be paid within 7 workings days. If they are applying from inside the UK if for instance, they are converting a UK Fiancée Visa to a UK Spouse Visa, the annual surcharge would need to be paid with 10 working days.

The application is relatively straightforward but the applicant will obviously need to provide some information in order for the application process to begin. The information that will be required from the applicant is:

  • Name
  • Nationality
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport Number
  • The Type of Visa Being Applied For
  • Email Address
  • The Visa Application Centre (if applying from Thailand)

We strongly recommend that the applicant uses the services of a professional visa company when making the application for both the UK Spouse Visa and the immigration health surcharge but if they want to apply for to pay for the immigration health surcharge it is a 4 step process.

  1. You need register on the Immigration website
  2. Complete the questionnaire
  3. Pay online
  4. Receive a reference number that needs to be added to your UK Spouse Visa application

This process will also need to be completed for any dependents who may be may also be looking to move to the UK on a permanent basis. Once you have this information, the application for a Spouse Visa including dependents can begin in earnest. It should be stressed that any delays in the completion of the questionnaire or in payment for the immigration health surcharge will result in delays in your visa applications.

If you are unsure about the application for either immigration surcharge or applying for a UK Spouse visa we recommend using a professional company. As the only OISC accredited company in Thailand, Thai Visa Express are in a perfect position to assist you with all your visa requirements. So, if you would like more information, call us on: +66 (0)80 102 2328, +66 (0) 38 420 313 or +44 (0) 20 8133 8059, email us on: or alternatively contact us via our website.