Non-EU migrants charged double to access NHS as of yesterday

As of yesterday (8 January 2019), the cost of obtaining a UK visa has increased for non-EU citizens as part of the plan to raise the immigration health surcharge (IHS).

In 2015, the surcharge was introduced which allowed migrants to access the National Health Service (NHS) during their stay in the UK.

Typically, the IHS is paid when students, professionals and family members apply for a visa.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the Immigration Health Surcharge will be doubled on 8 January 2019. The surcharge will rise from £200 to £400 per year, with the discounted rate for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme increasing from £150 to £300.”

“Migrants who make an application on or after January 8, 2019, will pay the new surcharge rate.”

As per the website, for visa applications, individuals need to pay IHS if they live outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and they are planning on obtaining a visa to work, study or join their family in the UK for more than six months.

And finally, it is to be highlighted that an IHS is not levied on immigrants who achieve the status of permanent residents after a period of legal stay in the country.

Figures revealed that since this IHS was enforced in 2015 it has raised over £600 million from visa applicants.