Rishi Sunak, Finance Minister of the UK, tabled the annual UK Budget on 11th March. The latest Budget introduces a mandatory hike in the health surcharge making long-term UK Visas more expensive than before.
Finance Minister Sunak is of Indian origin. His father is a General Practitioner while his mother is a Pharmacist.
The new UK Budget increases the Immigration Health Surcharge from the existing £400 to £624.
Mr Sunak, who is also the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in the House of Commons that immigrants in the UK benefit from the NHS (National Health Service). So while the UK wants them to benefit from the NHS, it also wants them to contribute towards it.
Mr Sunak added that the UK already had a health surcharge. However, it was not sufficient enough to reflect the number of privileges that people get out of it. Hence, the UK is increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge while keeping it discounted for children.
The Boris Johnson-led UK Govt. had indicated the hike in its General Election manifesto released in December 2019. Mr Sunak’s announcement has confirmed the same.
Children under 18 years would need to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge of £470. For international students too, the surcharge would be hiked from the current £300 to £470.
The Immigration Health Surcharge was first introduced in the UK in April 2015 at £200. It was then increased to £400 per year from December 2018. The IHS is applicable on all Visas longer than six months- be it for Study, Work or a Family Visa. The revenue generated from the IHS is used towards funding the NHS.
The largest representative body of Indian-origin doctors in the UK is the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. The body has been lobbying against the increased surcharge as the increased cost would be detrimental to their recruitment efforts of healthcare professionals from India. The NHS is already reeling under a workforce crunch. The increased Visa fee would further aggravate the situation.
The Indian industry also warned the UK Govt. that the hike in health surcharge would further increase the burden on the already expensive UK Visas.
Baroness Usha Prashar is the Chairperson of the UK Council of the FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry). Baroness Prashar said that UK Visas are already costly for overseas skilled workers. The increased health surcharge would increase the burden further on Indian businesses in the UK.
Y-Axis offers a wide range of Visa and Immigration services as well as products to overseas immigrants including UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa, Business Visa for the UK, Study Visa for the UK, Visit Visa for the UK, and Work Visa for the UK.
If you found this blog engaging, you may also like…