22-Feb-2018

Indian students and visitors to UK will have to pay double surcharge with visa

LONDON Feb 6: Fees for non-EU migrants to use the NHS are set to double, the government has announced.
 
Ministers said the move - expected to rake in an extra £220million a year for the health service - would ensure new arrivals made a 'fair contribution'.
 
The £400 per year charge will apply to all migrants from outside the EU who want to stay in Britain for six months or more.
 
Students and those on special 'mobility' schemes for 18-30 year olds will get a discounted rate of £300, up from £150.
 
But the increase falls short of the Tory manifesto pledge to increase the annual fee to £600. The surcharge was originally brought in by the Government in 2015 in a clampdown on so-called 'health tourism'.
 
The Department of Health estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating surcharge payers.
 
The surcharge is levied when an application is made to come to Britain, and makes an individual exempt from NHS charges for overseas visitors. 
 
It is payable every year, on top of regular taxes for workers, until migrants either return home or are granted indefinite leave to remain.  
 
The £220million raised from the increased charges, due to be introduced later this year, will go straight back to the NHS.
 
Plans for the rise seem to have been watered down along with a host of other pledges from the botched Tory election campaign.