UK visas could be denied to people with outstanding NHS bills

11 Oct 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UK visas are becoming increasingly difficult to get hold of but now potential immigrants have another issue to negotiate relating to healthcare.

Damian Green, the UK immigration minister, has stated that overseas visitors who do not pay off their debts for NHS treatment will soon be denied UK visas and permission to enter the country.

He laid out the changes in parliament this week (October 10th) noting that people who fail to settle an outstanding NHS bill of £1,000 or more will no longer be allowed entrance to the country unless they are capable of paying of the bill first.

Mr Green remarked: “The NHS is designed to meet the healthcare needs of the UK and we won't tolerate abuse of this service.

“We welcome overseas visitors, but those who use NHS facilities need to pay for them, or they will be barred from coming here.”

In addition, there will be a minor change to the evidential requirements for Tier 2 work permit holders who, from October 31st, will be required to provide supporting documents as proof of their income before they are granted settlement.

Minor and technical amendments have also been made to the family immigration route with a number of adjustments exacted on UK spouse and civil partner visas, as well as unmarried and same-sex partners. However, the government states that these changes will not represent a change in policy for this route.