What is the Immigration Health Surcharge and when will it be scrapped for NHS workers? – The Sun

THE Immigration Health Surcharge is set to increase, but the Prime Minister has announced a U-turn on a charge for those working for the NHS after migrant healthcare workers "saved his life".

Here's everything you need to know.

What is the NHS Immigration Health Surcharge?

The NHS Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a payment required by non-British citizens that enables them access to the National Health Service.

It applies to anyone and their dependents wishing to enter the UK under domestic immigration rules, but does not apply to NHS workers.

The IHS was implemented in 2015.

It's payable when a person initially fills out their visa application, usually paid online.

You can also pay by post.

Once the visa is granted or the payment cleared you can start using the NHS.

You still need to pay for some services, like prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and assisted conception.

If accessing NHS healthcare in the UK – even if you've paid your IHS – you should bring your biometric residence permit.

When will it be scrapped for NHS workers?

Boris Johnson has announced the IHS will be scrapped for everyone working in the NHS.

The PM is said to have been "thinking" about the issue for some time – after doctors in the NHS saved his life earlier this year.

After getting out of intensive care Boris was reported to have said to doctors: “I owe you my life.”

No 10 confirmed on the evening of May 21 work was underway to lift the charges for migrant NHS heroes, with more information being released in the coming days.

How much is the surcharge?

The charge is increasing from £400 to £624 for one year as of October 2020.

However, the longer your visa, the more you'll pay.

For instance, anyone wishing to enter the UK on a five year UK Ancestry visa, will pay £3,120, according to BritBound.

The increase was confirmed by Rishi Sunak as he delivered his budget in March.

Documents state: "This measure increases the Immigration Health Surcharge from the current level of £400 per year to £624 per year for each surcharge liable non-EEA temporary migrant (including dependants).

"The measure also increases the discounted rate for students, their dependants and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme from £300 to £470.

"The surcharge will also be set at £470 for all children under the age of 18."

How much is it increasing by?

The charge is up by £224.

The Home Office announced NHS workers would be exempt  from paying the charge for one year if their visas expire before October before May 21.

This has since been overturned by Boris Johnson to include all NHS workers, forever.

For students and any dependants they have, the charge is up by £170 to £470.

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