Immigration Health Surcharge extends to Australia and New Zealand

The UK has a healthcare system which is paid for through taxes. All UK nationals and most residents have equal access to the National Health Service (NHS) without being charged each time they visit a doctor or hospital. The immigration health surcharge has been introduced to help fund the NHS, and gives migrants the same access to the NHS as UK citizens.

The Immigration Health Surcharge will be extended to Australian and New Zealand nationals.From 6 April, Australians or New Zealanders who are planning to spend more than six months in the UK, or who are applying from within the UK to extend their stay, will be required to pay a £200 annul surcharge as part of their application.

In April 2015 the UK Government introduced an Immigration Health Surcharge to all non-EEA nationals, which at the time exempted Australian and New Zealand nationals. After only six months it had collected more than £100 million to contribute to the NHS for the benefit of us all.The £200 surcharge fee is designed to help ensure the National Health Service (NHS) remains sustainable and receives a fair contribution to the cost of healthcare from temporary migrants.Health surcharge payers receive NHS care generally free of charge but are charged for services a permanent resident would also pay for, such as dental treatment and prescription charges in England.The surcharge does not apply to any non-EEA national coming to the UK for six months or less, or to those who apply for a visitor visa, who continue to be fully liable for the cost of any NHS treatment at the point they receive it.However, due to reciprocal healthcare agreements with both countries, residents of Australia, and citizens of New Zealand who visit the UK will not be charged for treatment that cannot wait until they return home.Those, aged between 18 and 30, applying to come to the UK on the Youth Mobility Scheme will benefit from a discounted rate of £150 per person per year, a reduction of £50, which will align the cost with the amount paid by students.

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