Start typing and hit "Enter" to search.

How Can I Claim a Refund on my Immigration Healthcare Surcharge as a Health and Care Worker in the UK?

If you are a foreign national currently working in the healthcare or social care sectors, you will likely know that there is often a difference in the way that different professions are treated, including when it comes to immigration. This difference is apparent between those who are qualified doctors, nurses, health professionals or adult social care professionals who are eligible for the Health and Care visa, and those who work in the same sector but have a visa for a more generic purpose. This is because those with Health and Care visas do not need to pay the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS), whereas healthcare workers with other visa types must pay the IHS. Bearing in mind that the IHS must be a) be paid upfront, b) paid for every year of the visa, and c) paid by the main visa holder and each family member joining them in the UK, this can add up to a very large sum. In this article, we will outline the new immigration health surcharge reimbursement scheme for NHS and care workers in the UK, including how it works, who can apply, and how to apply.

What is the Immigration Healthcare Surcharge?

The IHS is a fee levied on visa applicants to cover the cost of any healthcare they may need while in the UK. The fee is paid at the time of applying for a visa for each family member included in the application. The IHS is only payable by anyone planning to be in the UK for more than six months if applying outside the UK, or for any length of time if applying inside the UK. It is not paid by visitors to the UK, or migrants who have indefinite leave to remain. Visa holders from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein do not currently pay the IHS, but will if they come to the UK on or after 1st January 2021. It is important to note that even if you have private medical insurance, you will still be expected to pay the IHS.

New IHS Reimbursement Scheme Announced for Health and Care Workers in the UK

On 1st October 2020, the Government announced a new initiative to reimburse health and care workers who have already paid the IHS. The announcement [PM1] states, “The Government’s Tier 2 health and care visa, launched in August, exempted eligible staff from paying the IHS. The new reimbursement scheme goes further to ensure that staff not covered by the visa, but who have worked in the NHS or care sector since 31st March, are able to claim reimbursement for themselves and their dependants, even if they paid the surcharge before this date”. This announcement confirmed that rather than opening up the exemption to all health and care staff, those who are working for the NHS or in the care sector and are not eligible for a Health and Care visa will still need to pay the IHS but can later have it reimbursed by the Government in six monthly instalments. For example, non-EEA migrants on the Youth Mobility scheme working as a care worker will be able to request a bi-annual rebate.

Can I Claim Under the Reimbursement Scheme?

Not all health and care workers can claim for reimbursement of the IHS, but most should be. To be eligible, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Not be on Tier 2 (General) visa (Tier 2 visa holders need to follow a different refund process by sending an email to IHSrefunds@homeoffice.gov.uk.
  • Have been working in health and social care continuously for at least six months commencing on or after 31st March 2020
  • Have worked at least 16 hours per week (on average) over the full six months prior to the claim for reimbursement.
  • Have paid the IHS as part of your visa application
  • Dependants will also be eligible for reimbursement if they have already paid their IHS
  • The IHS you are claiming for must be linked to a current visa (i.e. not a visa which has already expired).

The new scheme is only for claimants in the UK on visas that give them a generic right to work, including:

  • a dependant of a UK national or another migrant
  • a person on a Tier 4 student visa who can undertake up to 20 hours of work a week during term time
  • a person on the Tier 5 youth mobility scheme

Most crucially, when working out if you can apply, you will need to check that your role is eligible under the reimbursement scheme. In general, you should be eligible if you work in the following type of role:

  • direct patient care, for example as a health care assistant or social care worker
  • administrative or leadership, for example as a manager in a care home, or a hospital receptionist
  • facilities management, for example as a cleaner, caterer or courier in a hospital

This is fully explained in Annex A of the Home Office’s guidance. This outlines all of the potential employers, role types, and standards to which you need to be working to make a claim for IHS. It is, therefore, essential that you check whether your role aligns with these requirements.

On calculating the number of hours worked over the six month period, the official guidance clarifies, “The calculation of hours can include periods of statutory leave from ongoing employment (including contracted hours during jury service, maternity leave, and sickness leave). It may also include eligible work for one or more employers and can include up to 4 weeks (28 days) unpaid leave with justification, such as changing employers or personal circumstances. Applicants may be asked to explain any unpaid leave or breaks of service as part of their application”.

How Will the IHS be Reimbursed?

The rebates can be backdated to 31st March 2020 at the earliest. Health and care workers wishing to apply for a reimbursement of the IHS can do so every six months in arrears, so this means anyone working in a health and care role since 31st March 2020 and who has paid the IHS, can now bring a claim for the IHS to cover the period between 1st April 2020 and 30th September 2020. The maximum amount which will be reimbursed each time is £200.

How can I Make a Claim for Reimbursement of IHS?

The process is completed online, and you will need to provide the following details:

  • your IHS number (this is a 12-digit number)
  • your National Insurance number
  • your email address
  • the name of your employer
  • copies of your payslips for the last six months - you can upload them as either a scan or a photo
  • if you’re applying for your dependants, you’ll also need their IHS number, National Insurance number and email address.

Successful applications are typically refunded within six weeks of submission.

Related article

NHS Migrant Surcharge Scrapped For NHS Workers

Get In Touch


Some of our Happy Clients

Reiss Edwards Awards

ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge
ACQ5 Awards Award
Lexis Nexis
Three Best Rated
Department For International Development
University Of Cambridge

O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

Zohaib Butt

"I had the chance to use Reiss Edwards services for my Tier 2 extension. Marija dealt with my case and I found her very professional and experienced in dealing with my application. The care and attention to detail was exceptional. I would definitely recommend Reiss Edwards!".

Quintus Liu

"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into steps that are easy to follow. Cruised to 3 successive wins on my Tier 1 graduate/entrepreneurship visa which allowed us to play our part in making the UK a better and healthier place!".

Khasan Vosijonov

"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

Hakeem Salam

"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

Read More

Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

Read More

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

Read More

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

Read More

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee...

Read More

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A mas...

Read More

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigrat...

Read More

Zohaib Butt

"I had the chance to use Reiss Edwards services for my Tier 2 extension. Marija ...

Read More

Quintus Liu

"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into st...

Read More

Khasan Vosijonov

"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy. As a family, we...

Read More

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva th...

Read More

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recomme...

Read More

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listen...

Read More

Hakeem Salam

"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter a...

Read More

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled ...

Read More

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration...

Read More

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They ac...

Read More

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the a...

Read More

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to ...

Read More

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my expe...

Read More

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a ...

Read More

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused...

Read More

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people....

Read More