UK is taking initiative to recover some of the cost to its NHS National Health Service from the migrants from outside the European Economic Area.
Migrants who stays in the U.K. for more than six months will have to pay £200 a year when they apply for a visa starting April 6 2015 and Students will have to pay £150.
However Indian IT companies staff on intra-company transfer (ICT Tier 2 visa) has been given a favour as they will be exempt from the charges. They would still need to log onto the surcharge website to confirm that they are exempt and receive a reference number prior to attending their appointment at the Visa Application Center.
Numbers of migrant workers coming to the UK from outside the European Union are 24,400 a year, fulfilling a Conservative manifesto pledge. However, the cap doesn’t apply to ICT Intra company transfer. Which means IT companies are free to bring any number of migrants & Indians make up 70 per cent of the migrants brought to Britain on Intra Company Transfers.
The NHS is funded by the Uk’s tax payers and it is free at the point of use service. The UK government says that the new health surcharge “will play a vital role in ensuring Britain’s most cherished public service is provided on a basis that is fair to all who use it.”
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According to U.K. government figures International students cost the NHS around £700 per person/ year and the surcharge for international students is only £150 per year. “For generations, the British public have paid their taxes to help make the NHS what it is today – the surcharge will mean temporary migrants will also pay their way,” British Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said in a statement.
After paying the surcharge, migrants who are coming to live in the UK will have the same access to the NHS as a permanent resident and the benefit will last the duration of their visa.
The surcharge has come into effect on 6 April, 2015 however Non-EEA nationals coming to the UK on a tourist visa will not pay the health surcharge.
In addition to Indian IT workers on ICT tier 2 visa certain vulnerable groups such as Children in local authority care will be exempt from the surcharge and will continue to receive free NHS care.
The changes to the UK’s Immigration Rules introduced on 6 April 2017.
For Tier 2 Intra-company Transfer (ICT)
The Immigration Health Surcharge of £200 per year will apply to applicants of Tier 2 ICT category and their dependents.
Note: Although the UK government has implemented surcharge recently which was due long time ago, this surcharge is nothing comparing the profits Tech companies are making by undercutting the UK workers.