Non-EEA nationals wishing to work, study or visit family members in the UK for more than six months will need to pay a health surcharge from 6 April 2015.
The surcharge is part of the Government’s Immigration Act 2014 and will also apply to those already in the UK who extend their stay for an additional six months or more.
Applicants must pay £200 each year, £150 if they are students – and dependents will be charged the same amount as their guardians.
“This is an important change – and will affect many of our clients’ employees and their families,” says Rob Dolbear, managing director of relocation specialist HCR.
“The surcharge must be paid in full before those wishing to come to the UK make their immigration applications and it is mandatory – even if individuals already hold private health insurance.
“With laws and regulations being introduced or changed continuously across all corners of the globe, it is essential that companies like HCR keep abreast of all new developments before they happen.
“In this particular case, the cost of the surcharge differs – depending on how long the ap-plicant wishes to stay in the UK. Those applying for a five-year visa, for example, will need to pay £1000 – and so will their dependents. This is a significant addition to their financial outlay and is something employers must be aware of.
“Even those who are don’t have to pay because they are exempt – including employees undertaking intra-company transfers and Australian and New Zealand applicants – must still complete the online surcharge process. They won’t be able to continue the immigration process without a surcharge reference number.”
Other exemptions include those coming to the UK to study for six months or less and visi-tors – also for six months or less. But NHS treatment won’t come for free.
“Exempt non-EEA visitors who require treatment during their stay will be asked to pay from April,” adds Rob. “They will be charged 150 percent of the cost of any treatment they receive.
“When clients approach us, they know we’ll ensure a smooth transition for their employees moving to the UK from abroad,” added Rob.
“Everything is taken care of – from arranging work permits, accommodation and insurance to making sure employees have access to good schools and medical facilities.
“We have a network of dedicated relocation professionals standing by to provide infor-mation and advice to clients and their workers.
“Businesses trust us to meet the complex needs of individual employees. And making sure we are fully up to speed on changes to immigration and residency laws, just like these, is a big part of that.”