As of 8 January 2019, the UK Immigration Health Surcharge fee has been increased from £200 to £400 per year for any migrants from outside the EU looking to come to the UK for more than 6 months. The Immigration Health Surcharge fee for those applying under the Tier 4 and Tier 5 routes will also be doubled, rising from £150 to £300. All migrants who make an application on or after 8 January will have to pay the significantly increased charges.
The authorisation for these changes, signed by the UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes on 18 December 2018, has caused controversy, with many claiming that it is unfair. Migrants coming to the UK to work under the Tier 2 visa category already have to pay tax, which goes to fund the NHS.
So what exactly is the Immigration Health Surcharge? The Immigration Health Surcharge applies to anyone from outside the EU looking to live in the UK for a period exceeding 6 months. The surcharge gives migrants in the UK access to a wide range of NHS services, without incurring additional charges with the exception of prescription fees.
It has been estimated that the increase in cost will provide an extra £220 million per year to the NHS, however this increase has been the subject of confusion, especially due to the fact that the Home Office or Department of Health are yet to issue an official statement. It also remains unclear at this stage whether the surcharge will apply to EU citizens after Brexit.
Posted by: Gherson Immigration,