NHS plan to double immigration surcharge

The Government has announced plans to double the immigration health surcharge in an effort to raise funds for the NHS, and also to reduce the effects of so-called “health tourism”.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) claim that it currently costs the NHS an average of £470 to treat each surcharge payer, and that these changes could provide approximately £220 million per year towards NHS services.

Under current rules, individuals from outside of the EEA who seeking to live in the UK for six months or longer for work, study or to join family must pay £200 annually, whilst those on the Youth Mobility Scheme pay £150.  The announced changes would see these surcharges rise to £400 and £300 respectively, and are planned to be implemented later this year.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes provided the following comment:

 "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."

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