Rude shock for UK visa applicants: Health tax doubles for Indians

The Hush Post: Going to UK for study or for work might cost more from later this year. Anybody applying for a UK visa for six months or more will have to pay double the health surcharge raising the overall cost of the travel document.

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Indians applying for visa to UK will have to shell out £400 as health surcharge, in place of current £200 per person per year, a tax which was introduced in 2015. The discounted rate of £150 for students will go up to £300 per year, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced. Migrants with indefinite leave to remain are exempt from the surcharge.

The Immigration Skills Charge of £1,000 per migrant worker per year in the Tier 2 visa categories has also been doubled, including the intra-company transfer visa popular with Indian IT companies.

Health Minister James O’Shaughnessy said, “Our National Health Service (NHS) is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers. We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but it is only right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability.” An extra £220 million will be raised every year through the new surcharge according to estimates made by the department. Urgent and emergency care is always available regardless of immigration status and will never be delayed for charging or eligibility checking purposes, the department said.

Doubling the health tax for immigrants was one of the manifesto promises of the Conservative Party before the 2017 general election.

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