With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the non-European citizens to acquire the UK visa. In the series of Uk visas policy changes, the latest addition is the double increase in health surcharge for the non-EU citizens by the UK government. From December 2018 onwards, the UK government will implement the announced immigration health surcharge which eventually will enhance the overall UK visa fees for the students, citizens, family members, and professionals of the non-European countries.
As per the UK home office, the current immigration health surcharge (IHS) will increase from 200 pounds to 400 pounds per year. The principal reason behind increasing the IHS suddenly is to generate extra funding for the state-funded national health services (NHS). According to an estimation, increase in IHS will add an extra 220 million pounds in the NHS found which is staggering.
But there is also a benefit for increased health surcharge for the non-European citizens. Anyone immigrant, whether it is a student, family member, or a working professional who has a visa span of longer than six months can utilize the NHS services same as any other UK citizen. Although NHS is not an international service, the UK government decided to make it accessible for the immigrants as well. UK immigration minister Caroline Nokes give a statement that rendering NHS services to the migrants will amplify the long-term sustainability of the UK government.
The hike will be effective from the December 2018 after the parliamentary approval (the proposal is on the table and it will get a green signal quite soon) and the added money will directly go into the national health services. The enhanced surcharge will be payable only by those non-European citizens, including Indians, who are planning to stay in the UK for longer than six months.
The payment is to be made at the time of application process and is payable until the person is residing in the UK or returns to their home country permanently. If we go by the data of UK immigration department, since 2015, health surcharge has raised more than 600 million pounds which the health department of UK government has invested back in the NHS program.
For the UK permanent residents, the hike in the health surcharge is not a thing to worry about. They don’t have to pay any surcharge which also includes the various vulnerable groups, modern-day slavery victims, asylum seekers etc. To get more information on UK visa, it is suggested to connect with professional UK visa services who are always updated with the latest visa trends and can resolve any of your visa issues.