Migrant health surcharge expected April 2015

A migrant health surcharge provisioned in the Immigration Act of May 2014 will take the shape of a payment made as part of the UK visa application process and is expected to be implemented in April 2015. The annual health surcharge will be applicable to all non-EEA citizens who are applying for a Tier 1, Tier 2 (excluding Intra-Company Transfers), Tier 4 or Tier 5 visa of more than six months’ duration. The amount will be payable in full with the visa application fee.

The surcharge, which will affect all new out of country and in country applications, is expected to be £200 per year. 

The total amount payable will depend on the length of the requested visa: for example, a Tier 2 (General) migrant making a five-year visa application would need to pay the annual amount five times, equalling £1,000 in total. This would also apply to any dependent applications, but students will be subject to a lesser charge of £150 for each year they expect to stay in the UK.

Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants will be exempt from the surcharge and will continue to access NHS care free of charge.

As a part of this new incentive, all EU migrants and visitors will be required to show a European Health Insurance Card in order to avoid being charged. GP services and nurse consultations at primary care level will remain free of charge for all.

As well as improving the systems for charging overseas visitors and migrants for their healthcare, the extent of the services for which they can charge will be increasing. Training and financial incentives will also be introduced to improve the ability of the NHS to collect money owed by overseas nationals.

The government believes these measures will help to maintain the principle that the NHS will always treat people who are in urgent need of care and is free for UK residents.

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