Health charges set to increase to £400 a year for temporary migrants

Monday, 19 February 2018

Last week, the UK government announced plans to double the health surcharge paid by temporary immigrants applying from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are heading to the UK to work, study or join family for 6 months or more.

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The surcharge is expected to increase from £200 to £400. Additionally, the discounted rate for students and visa holders on the Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from £150 to £300.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes’ reasoning for the increase is that “it is only right that people who come to the UK should contribute to the running of the NHS. The surcharge offers access to health care services that are far more comprehensive and at a much lower cost than many other countries.”

“The income generated goes directly to NHS services, helping to protect and sustain our world-class healthcare system for everyone who uses it,” she continued.

It has been estimated that the NHS spends, on average, approximately £470 per person to treat surcharge payers. This new immigration health surcharge is reported to provide the NHS with an extra £220 million a year to cover the services used on the temporary migrants.

“Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers. We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but it is only right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability,” said Health Minister, James O’Shaughnessy.

“By increasing the surcharge so that it better reflects the actual costs of using health services, this government is providing an extra £220 million a year to support the NHS.”

The Government also stated that it plans to amend the costs required later on in the year to reflect the costs NHS incurs to treat surcharge payees accurately.

Talk to our OISC registered UK migration consultants to find out more about how these changes might affect you.