Visas: Married People

Home Office written question – answered on 28th January 2016.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the rationale is for people on spousal visas resident in the UK being required to pay a health surcharge as part of their visa.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

The Immigration Health Surcharge was introduced in April last year to ensure that temporary, non-EEA migrants (unless subject to an exemption), who apply to come to the UK to work, study or join family, for a time-limited period of more than 6 months or who make an application to remain in the UK, contribute to the extensive and high quality range of NHS services available to them in a manner in line with their immigration status. This includes individuals resident in the UK with temporary spousal visas of more than 6 months, until such time they are eligible for indefinite leave to remain in which case the Immigration Health Surcharge does not apply.

It gives migrant’s access to the NHS on the same terms as a permanent UK resident. The surcharge is set at a competitive rate and is a lower cost over the period of stay than the cost of even basic private medical insurance. In setting the Immigration Health Surcharge level at £200 per annum per migrant and £150 for students, the last Government considered the range of health services available without charge to migrants, the valuable contribution migrants make to our country and the need to ensure that the UK remains an attractive destination for global talent.

In the first 6 months since its introduction, the Immigration Health Surcharge collected more than £100 million in income for the NHS.

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