UK: Immigration Health Surcharge U-turn going nowhere
On the 21st May 2020 in a remarkable U-turn, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the Immigration Health Surcharge (the annual fee paid by non-EU migrants to avail of the NHS) would be removed for certain healthcare workers. The fee which sits at £400 per worker and per dependent family member, is in addition to other visa costs. We have been contacted by several clients who were still required to pay the fee after the Prime Minister’s announcement. Some have paid as much as £1600 to cover costs of the IHS for family members for one year. Other families will have to pay much more depending on how long they are extending their visas.
Apparently, officials are still considering how they should implement the exemption almost one month since Johnson’s announcement! Meanwhile extortionate fees mount up for valuable frontline healthcare workers, many of whom are low-paid and struggle to find the money.
We now call upon the Home Office to immediately implement the exemption and provide a refund to anyone who has paid the fee since the policy was announced.