The Immigration Health Surcharge is to be extended to Australian and New Zealand nationals from 6 April.
Australians and New Zealanders who plan to spend more than six months in the UK, or who are applying from within the UK to extend their stay, will no longer be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge. In addition to the already costly application fees, from 6 April, they will also be required to pay £200 per annum up front as part of their visa application.
The Immigration Health Surcharge was introduced in April 2015 and, after just six months, it has collected more than £100 million for the government.
The £200 surcharge fee is intended to help ensure the National Health Service remains sustainable and receives a fair contribution to the cost of healthcare from temporary migrants.
Health surcharge payers receive NHS care akin to a permanent resident of the UK, i.e. care is provided free of charge but certain services, such as dental treatment and prescription charges apply.
The Immigration Health Surcharge does not apply to non-EEA nationals coming to the UK for six months or less, such as visitors, who continue to be fully liable for the cost of any NHS treatment they receive. Neither does it apply to the partners and family members of EEA nationals exercising Treaty rights in the UK who are entitled to free healthcare.
Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme applicants will benefit from a discounted rate of £150 per person per year, the same as for students.
If you would like to speak to one of our specialist UK immigration solicitors, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7038 3980, at email@example.com or via our online contact form.