New National Health Insurance Surcharges recently in effect for inbound immigration to the UK

April 16, 2015:

As of April 6, 2015, employers with international transfers or global assignments of non-European (EAA) nationals to the UK will be required to pay a National Health Insurance (NHS) surcharge.

It applies to those EAA’s who go to the UK to work, study or join their family for a period of more than 6 months.
The surcharge is £200 per year for main applicants and dependents, while students pay £150 per year.

The surcharge must be paid up front, at the time of making the immigration application and it will give migrants access to the NHS on the same terms as a permanent UK resident for the entire period of permission to stay in the UK. If an immigration application is unsuccessful, the surcharge will be refunded. There are no refunds of surcharges if the individual leaves before the end of the assignment.

There are a few exemptions to the surcharge. The most worthy of note for Canadian employers or Human Resource professionals responsible for international mobility is that Tier 2 ICT’s are exempt from the surcharge.

To understand the increased cost, we provide the following example:

Company ABC sends an employee that is not eligible as a Tier 2 ICT to the UK for a 3 year assignment, with a spouse and two children. The NHS surcharge = £200 x 4 people x 3 years = £2,400.

Pro-rata calculations are made on portions of the period that are less than 6 months.

All Points recommends that:

  • Companies review their relocation and immigration processes for those going to the UK
  • Make others aware of both:
    • The cost increase of non-Tier 2 ICT assignments
    • The process change (work permit applications filed without the fee will not be filed)
  • Review those currently on assignment, as surcharges will be payable by those that need to extend their stays

Important! Business visitors under 6 months.

The change above has also resulted in a change for non-EEA business visitors to the UK. If these individuals use the NHS, they will need to pay 150% of the cost of any treatment, so companies should ensure that appropriate insurance is purchased in advance of business trips.

All Points does not represent itself as immigration counsel. We encourage all employers to review the changes thoroughly. This Relo-lert is not intended as an exhaustive consideration of the changes. It is provided for information purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice or counsel. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of their particular situation.

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