The United Kingdom has introduced a new law which requires immigrants from non European Economic Area (EEA) area to pay a health surcharge in order to gain access to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).The health surcharge, to be launched from 6 April will be applicable to all coming to work, study or join family members for more than 6 months to receive free medical treatment under the UK’s NHS in the same way as a permanent resident.
The surcharge is Â£150 per year for international students while it is Â£200 for other categories. The payment will have to be made at the time of the visa application and applicants have to pay the surcharge for the entire period of their stay at the same time.
James Brokenshire, British Immigration and Security Minister says,“The health surcharge will play a vital role in ensuring Britain’s most cherished public service is provided on a basis that is fair to all who use it. For generations, the British public has paid their taxes to help make the NHS what it is today – the surcharge will mean temporary migrants will also pay their way.”
The changes will not affect visitors coming to the UK on a standard visit visa, regardless of its length, and visitors will continue to have to pay for any treatment they receive from the NHS at the point of receiving it. Those coming to the UK on an intra-company transfer (ICT Tier 2 visa) will be exempt from the charges but must still complete the process through the surcharge website.
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