Budget 2020: EU migrants to pay increased health fee to use NHS

When Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the Budget yesterday, he announced that the Government will increase the Immigration Health Surcharge.

This is added to the visa applications as a yearly fee for the NHS services. The new charge is estimated to raise £1.5 billion by 2025.

Before this announcement the charge for immigrants was:

  • £400 for adults (per annum)
  • £300 for children and young people (per annum)
  • Free for EU migrants

The charge will be now increasing to:

  • £624 for adults (per annum)
  • £470 for children and young people (per annum)

In addition, EU citizens are to pay the levy next January, meaning all migrants will be paying an increased fee for the use of the NHS facilities and services.

For example, a family of four migrating to the UK will pay a fee of £2,200 every year.

In the Budget, it states ‘To ensure that new arrivals to the UK contribute to the funding of the NHS, the Immigration Health Surcharge will be increased to £624. The Government will also introduce a new discounted rate of £470 for children in recognition of the increased financial impact on family groups.’

Whilst the Chancellor revealed the NHS will receive an extra £6 billion, there are concerns that this increased fee could potentially decrease the number of skilled workers that come to the UK. Especially at a time when there are shortages of doctors, nurses, carers and hospitality workers.

Kate Boguslawska, Partner for Carter Lemon Camerons LLP Solicitors, points out that ‘The levy is substantial and will further reduce the number of migrants from Europe.  It is yet another blow to businesses that rely on the EU workforce.’

The information contained in the article reflects legal position on 12 March 2020 and is for general information purposes only and does not aim to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. We accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Carter Lemon Camerons immigration team. The specialist team at Carter Lemon Camerons Solicitors can assist you with all immigration and business-related matters. Our years of expertise in these areas mean that we can provide tailored solutions for you. For more details, please contact our immigration team at immigration@cartercamerons.com or +44 (0)20 7406 1000.