Any non-EU workers applying for UK Tier 2 work permits have suffered a significant blow after it was revealed that the UK immigration health surcharge is likely to double from £200 to £400 per year in 2018.
Paid by immigrants, the UK immigration health surcharge applies to anyone from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who wants to live, work or study in Britain for over six months, allowing them to access healthcare during this time.
According to the government, these rates will increase from £200 to £400 for most immigrants, with students paying £300 instead of £150. These figures were set to triple under initial plans from the Conservative party, but had to be diluted following Theresa May’s failure to win a majority in the latest General Election.
The surcharge will be applied after each person submits an application to enter Britain, and is payable each year until they are granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK or choose to leave the country.
Commenting on the changes, Lord O’Shaughnessy, UK health minister, suggested that the subsequent £220 million windfall expected to be received by the NHS as a result of the increased surcharge makes the changes worthwhile, particularly with figures stating the NHS spends an average of £470 on each eligible immigrant.
“The NHS is always available when people need it, paid for British taxpayers,” he said. “Long-term migrants are welcome to use the NHS, but it’s only fair that they contribute to its long-term sustainability.”
“The government is providing an extra £220 million a year to support the NHS.”