From 6 April, all nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) coming to the UK for longer than six months will be required to pay a ‘health surcharge’ as part of their visa application.
Those who have paid the surcharge or are not required to do so because they are exempt will be able to access the National Health Service (NHS) in the same way as a permanent UK resident.
The surcharge will ensure that those coming to work, study and join family in the UK make an appropriate financial contribution to the cost of the health services they may use whilst in the UK.
The health surcharge will be £200 per year and £150 per year for students and will be paid online for the total period of their UK visa. Dependants will generally pay the same amount as the main applicant.
The surcharge does not apply to anyone applying for a visitor visas. However, non EEA visitors will continue to be fully liable for the costs of any NHS treatment at the point they receive it. The surcharge will apply to relevant visa applications submitted and paid for from 00:01 (UK time) on 6 April 2015.
Certain groups will be exempt from the surcharge and will continue to receive free NHS care. These include Australian and New Zealand nationals and visa applications for Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer.
Tier 2 intra-company transfers, Australian and New Zealand nationals must still complete the process on the surcharge web site. They will be informed the payment is nil and receive a unique surcharge reference number. This reference is needed for their immigration application to confirm their exemption from the surcharge.
Further information, including about exemptions, is available on the UK government web site.