IHS Refund for Health and Social Care Workers

Image by Freepik
Image by Freepik

The process for applying for an IHS refund by health and social care workers can be confusing. We have put together this short guide demystifying the application process:

  1. Who is eligible

You must have paid the immigration health surcharge (IHS) and both:

  • You must be working for an NHS organisation or a health and social work provider (See Annex A for a detailed list)
  • have worked in your role for at least 6 months, for an average of at least 16 hours a week

The 6 months can include paid leave, such as maternity or statutory sick leave.

You will not be eligible if you were unemployed or had unpaid leave for more than 28 days during the last 6 months.

If you change jobs, you must start your new job within 28 days of leaving the old one.

If you lose your job and remain unemployed for more than 28 days, you will lose your eligibility for that period.

If you are on sick leave or on maternity leave, you will remain eligible so long as you remain employed.

The refund request is backdated and made every 6 months. Ideally you will start from the beginning of your leave (where your job predates the grant of your leave) or the start of your job where you are employed after being granted leave.

  1. Application form

Go to the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/apply-immigration-health-surcharge-refund/healthcare-settingand click on the “Start now” button.

  1. Initial questions

  • Has the applicant paid an immigration health surcharge for their current visa?

Press Yes (you cannot apply for a refund if you have not paid your IHS)

  • What type of visa does the applicant hold?

Other visa (this guide is not for Tier 2/5 applicants)

  • Has the applicant had a job in health and social care?

Press Yes (you cannot apply for a refund if you do not work in an eligible health and social care job)

  • Did the applicant work in the health and social care job for 6 months or more?

Press Yes (you cannot apply for a refund if you have not worked for more than 6 months in an eligible job. This period of work should be from 31 March 2020)

  • When working in the health and social care job, was the applicant working an average of 16 hours or more per week?

Press yes (you cannot apply for a refund if you have been working for less than an average of 16 hours)

  1. Start the application

  • You will need to provide the following information:

    • Name

    • DOB

    • NI Number

    • IHS number

    • Email address

    • Phone number

  • You can include dependents (children/spouse) who applied with you. You will need to provide: Name, DOB and IHS Number

  • What’s the starting date of the 6-month employment period the applicant is claiming for?

  • Provide employment details

    • Name of Employer

    • Applicant’s job title

    • Applicant’s job setting: Hospital / GP practice / Care home / Community healthcare setting / Other

    • Does the applicant have another job within NHS and health and social care?

  1. Upload payslips

Evidence should be a scanned copy or photo of the original documents or a PDF, and must include:

  • Employee name
  • Employer name
  • National Insurance number
  • Pay date or period covered
  • Contracted hours

  1. Would you like to give any additional information about the applicant’s employment or evidence? (optional)

Explain any gaps in the applicant’s employment or working arrangements. This could include: maternity or paternity leave / arrangements due to coronavirus (COVID-19), such as being furloughed / sickness, including self-isolation

  1. Confirm and send

Final Tip: Make sure you have all the required documentation before you start your application.


If you need advice or support, please contact us.


This information was correct at the date of publishing.


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