On 11 October 2018, the Home Office announced that the Immigration Health Surcharge (“IHS”) will double from £200 per year to £400 per year.
The Immigration Health Surcharge (“IHS”) is a compulsory fee for non-EEA nationals who apply to enter or remain in the UK to work, study or join family for more than 6 months. Those who apply to settle in the UK are not required to pay this fee.
The fee allows these non-EEA nationals to use some services on the National Health Service (“NHS”) free of charge, in the same way as a person ordinarily resident in the UK.
The IHS was introduced in April 2015 to ensure that non-EEA nationals residing in the UK were contributing to the NHS and to reduce so-called “health tourism”. Since its introduction in 2015, the IHS has raised over £600 million for the NHS.
The Home Office website states that “The changes better reflect the cost to the NHS of treating those who pay the surcharge, as the DHSC estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating those required to pay the surcharge”.
The increase is expected to come into force in December, subject to parliamentary approval.
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