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Getting a refund on your Immigration Health Surcharge

The government requires non-European Economic Area (EEA) students to pay an immigration health surcharge (sometimes also known as a ‘healthcare surcharge’) with their visa application to stay in the UK to study. There are a some situations when you can claim for this to be refunded.

The healthcare surcharge means that students living in the UK can start using the National Health Service (NHS), meaning there will be no charge for visiting a UK doctor or receiving emergency treatment at a hospital if you have an accident. A stay in hospital will also be covered, but there are charges for dental treatments, prescription medicines and eye tests. You can pay for healthcare insurance online or as part of the payment for a premium visa service.

In what situations could I get a healthcare surcharge refund?

Situations in which a refund can be claimed include:

Paying twice

If you accidentally pay for the healthcare insurance twice, you will be entitled to a healthcare surcharge refund for the extra amount paid.

Visa application refused

You need to pay for the healthcare surcharge at the time of applying for a visa. If, for any reason, your application is refused, you will receive a refund for the payment.

Withdrawing from a visa application

If you decide to cancel or postpone your plans to study in the UK, you can withdraw from your visa application at any time. In this case, you will be entitled to a healthcare insurance refund.

Partial repayments

There are circumstances where you will receive a partial refund for healthcare surcharge payments. If your visa turned out to be for a shorter time than you first applied for, for example, a partial refund is due.

If you paid for the healthcare surcharge to cover your dependants who want to stay with you in the UK and their application is refused, you will get a refund for the portion of the surcharge that covers them.

When won’t I get a refund?

You will not be able to claim a refund if:

  • your visa application is successful but you do not come to the UK
  • you leave Britain before the visa period ends
  • the authorities tell you to leave the UK for any reason

If you successfully change to another visa type or are given indefinite leave to stay in the UK, you will not have to pay an additional surcharge.

Refund period

If you apply for a healthcare surcharge refund, allow up to 90 days before it is paid.

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