London: The UK government is set to double the immigration health surcharge (IHS) from December, which will increase the overall visa fees for the citizens, students, professionals and family members from the non-European Union countries, including India. The IHS, introduced in April 2015, will rise from £200 to £400 per year, with the discounted rate for students increasing from £150 to £300, the UK Home Office said, as the proposal announced earlier this year was put before Parliament this week.
The move is expected to raise an estimated £220 million in extra funding for the state-funded National Health Service (NHS). The surcharge allows anyone in the UK on a work, study or family visa for longer than six months to access NHS services in the same way as UK citizens. “Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers. We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but the NHS is a national, not international health service and we believe it is right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability,” UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said.