The health surcharge applicable for a UK visa for six months or more will double this year, affecting the overall cost of the travel document. Introduced in 2015, the current health surcharge is £200 per person per year, and it will rise to £400. The Department of Health and Social Care announced that the discounted rate of £150 for students will go up to £300 per year. It said that doubling the amount is aimed to better reflect the actual costs to the National Health Service of treating those who pay the surcharge. The department estimates that an extra £220 million will be raised every year through the new surcharge.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said, “It is only right that people who come to the UK should contribute to the running of the NHS. The surcharge offers access to healthcare services that are far more comprehensive and at a much lower cost than many other countries.” Health Minister James O'Shaughnessy said, “Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers. We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but it is only right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability.” Those with indefinite leave to remain are exempt from the surcharge. The department said that urgent and emergency care is always available regardless of immigration status.