The Immigration Health Surcharge collected more than £100 million in income for the NHS in the first six months of its introduction, Immigration Minister James Brokenshire has said.
Mr Brokenshire revealed the figures in a written answer to Daniel Zeichner, Shadow Minister for Transport who wanted to know what was the rationale for people on spousal visas resident in the UK being required to pay a health surcharge as part of their visa.
In April 2015 the UK Government introduced the Immigration Health Surcharge for temporary non-EEA migrants applying to come to the UK to work, study or join family, for a time-limited period of more than six months.
The Immigration Health Surcharge was introduced to make sure that such migrants “contribute to the extensive and high quality range of NHS services available to them in a manner in line with their immigration status,” Mr Brokenshire said.
Immigration Health Surcharge must also be paid by individuals resident in the UK with temporary spousal visas of more than six months. They only stop paying when they become eligible for indefinite leave to remain.
Mr Brokenshire explained that “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.”