Immigration alert: Immigration Health Surcharge to double

6 February 2018

The government has just announced that it plans to double the Immigration Health Surcharge, so that temporary migrants currently paying £200 per year will need to pay £400 for each year of their visa, in order to access NHS services in the UK. There is a discounted rate for students and members of the Youth Mobility Scheme which is due to increase from £150 to £300 per year.

The surcharge is paid by individuals who come to the UK, from outside the European Economic Area, to stay for at least six months to work, study or visit family. Where the visa granted incorporates a part of a year, half the sum is payable for periods of up to six months and for periods over six months, the full annual amount is payable. For example, if an individual is granted a visa for 3 years and 4 months, £1,400 will be payable, whereas if a visa is granted for say a Tier 2 migrant coming to the UK as an intercompany transferee for 3 years and 8 months, the amount payable would be £1,600. The charge is also payable by each dependant accompanying the migrant. The government plans to make the change later in 2018.

These charges are on top of the Immigration Skills Charge of £1,000 per year, which is payable by large or medium sized Sponsors of Tier 2 migrants applying for entry clearance. Smaller Sponsors who qualify as a small company, as provided for in Section 382 of the Companies Act 2006 as amended, pay £364 per year.

Reporting a change in size of a company to the Home Office

The Home Office has also issued new guidance requiring Sponsors to file a report with the Home Office when there is a change in size of their company from small to large and vice versa, within 10 days of the change occurring. We have received confirmation from the Home Office that this will be applicable only when the Sponsor becomes aware of the change, which is not likely to be until the annual accounts have been finalised at the end of the financial year.  

Once a report has been made on the Sponsor’s Sponsor Management System, the Immigration Skills Charge payable for subsequent Tier 2 entry clearance applicants will change accordingly.

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