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Health surcharge for migrants set to double

Ministers say the increase will raise £220m for the NHS.

The upfront charges paid by temporary migrants to the UK to use the NHS are to double, the Government has announced.

Ministers said the move would raise around £220 million a year for the health service while ensuring migrants made “fair contribution” towards its costs.

The increase to the immigration health surcharge – payable by people from outside the European Economic Area staying in the UK for six months or longer – means the main rate will rise from £200 to £400 a year.

The discounted rate for students and those on the youth mobility scheme will go up from £150 to £300.

The surcharge was originally brought in by the Government in 2015 in a clampdown on so-called “health tourism”.

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.

“By increasing the surcharge so that it better reflects the actual costs of using health services, this Government is providing an extra £220 million a year to support the NHS.”

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