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NHS Surcharge for Non-EEA nationals making UK visa applications to come into effect on 6 April 2015

Non-EEA nationals applying for UK visa applications will be required to pay significant additional costs in relation to their applications. This is due to the introduction of a health surcharge to cover the costs of the migrant’s use of the NHS while in the United Kingdom. We would like to have informed you of the details of this earlier, but yesterday (19/03/2015) was when the Home Office first announced the full details and the date that it will come into effect.

On or after 6 April 2015 any applicants that apply* either for an initial UK Visa or an extension of their current one, either in the UK or from abroad for a duration of more than 6 months will need to pay the charge. The charge will not only apply to the main applicant but also to all their dependant family members that are also applying for dependant visas. There are certain categories of migrants that will not be required to pay the charge (see ‘exemptions’ below)

The amount of the surcharge is as follows:

£200 per year for all migrants except:

Tier 4 students who will pay £150 per year

The whole of the charge will need to be paid upfront at the application stage depending on how long the applicant’s visa will be valid for.

So for example if a Tier 2 (General) applicant is applying for the maximum permitted time of five years, then the applicant would need to pay £1000 upfront at the time that they make their application. If they have a spouse dependant and three children applying at the same time then the total cost the family would need to pay upfront would be £5000. This amount is in addition to the Home Office fees for the applications.

The charge will be payable as part of the visa application process and if the charge is not paid then the application will be refused or rejected. It appears from the information the Home Office have so far released that there will be a separate surcharge website but the Home Office have not provided comprehensive information about this other than that it seems applicants will receive a unique surcharge reference number which they will need for their visa application.

Exemptions

There are certain categories of migrants that will not need to pay the charge, here we include the exemptions that are relevant to our particular client base**. These are as follows

  • Visitors where the visit will be for 6 months or less;
  • Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) migrants;
  • Australian and New Zealand nationals (due to reciprocal healthcare agreements with those countries)

IMPORTANT: Even though the above category of applicants will be exempt they will still need to go through the surcharge website, where they will be told that the amount payable is Nil but will receive a unique surcharge reference number which they will required in order to successfully claim the exemption.

 

Questions and Answers

What is the application is refused?

If the application is refused the amount paid for the NHS surcharge will be refunded automatically.

What if the application is granted but for personal or other reasons the applicant cannot travel to the UK?

The surcharge will not be refunded

What if the applicant will never use the NHS, because for example they choose to use private healthcare?

The surcharge will not be refunded

 For more information please see the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/414584/Surcharge_customer_info_web_v1_2.pdf

 

*means when the Home Office fee is paid

** Other specific exemptions exist which can be viewed in the links in this article (but we do not consider them to be relevant to our particular client/potential client base

If you require any further information about this or would like any UK Immigration advice then please contact us as info@ukvisas.com

March 20, 2015

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