United Kingdom introduces Health Surcharge

UnitedKingdom-1Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — Nationals from St. Kitts and Nevis staying in the United Kingdom (UK) for a limited time period of more than six months will now benefit from health insurance as they are required to pay a financial contribution towards the UK National Health Service (NHS).

This was done through a recently approved regulation for an Immigration Health Surcharge that was introduced on April 06, 2015 by the UK parliament. The new procedure also applies to persons who extend their stay in the UK past the six months period.

The introduction of the health surcharge is part of a wider reform programme led by the UK’s Department of Health. This is to ensure that temporary non – European Economic Area (EEA) migrants going to live in the UK, make a proportionate financial contribution to the cost of their healthcare.

The surcharge stands at a cost of £200 for temporary migrants and £150 for students.

As stated in a press release from the British High Commission, the surcharge will not apply to visitors, such as tourists, or to those visiting the UK initially for less than six months in any visa category. These applicants will remain subject to NHS charges for accessing hospital treatment, unless covered by a reciprocal healthcare agreement between the UK and their home country.

The surcharge is not a visa fee. The payment will be collected by the Home Office and it will go directly into the NHS and will give migrants access to the NHS on the same terms as a permanent resident.

Further information can be obtained on the British High Commission’s website at https://www.gov.uk/healthcare-immigration-application.

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