UNITED KINGDOM – Immigration health surcharge to double

The doubling of the healthcare surcharge represents a significant increase that employers and individuals should budget for starting this year.

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IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The U.K. government plans to double the immigration healthcare surcharge for visa applicants from £200 to £400 per person, per year (and from £150 to £300 per person, per year for students and Youth Mobility Scheme applicants).

What does the change mean? The change will affect new applicants after the implementation date, which has not been announced.

  • Implementation time frame: Later this year. A date has not been announced.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas valid for longer than six months, including Tier 2 and other points-based visas.
  • Who is affected: All non-EEA nationals intending to stay in the U.K. for longer than six months.
  • Business impact: Companies should budget for the increase, which will continue to be paid upfront in full for the entire visa period at the time of application.
  • Next steps: Parliament must approve the change, which will then affect applications filed after the implementation date.

Background: The decision comes as the U.K. government faces mounting public protests demanding greater government funding to save the National Health Service. The healthcare surcharge was introduced in 2015 for all non-EEA nationals coming to the U.K. to work, study or join family for a duration longer than six months. The government has determined that the increase is needed to cover the actual costs of treating the non-EEA population.

BAL Analysis: The doubling of the healthcare surcharge represents a significant increase that employers and individuals should budget for starting this year. BAL will report when the implementation date is announced.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com.

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