Indian doctors and healthcare professionals in the UK are campaigning against an “unfair” doubling of a health surcharge slapped on professionals from outside the European Union (EU) living and working in Britain.
UK increased the “Immigration Health Surcharge”, which was introduced in April 2015, to GBP 400 from GBP 200 per year from December last year.
The surcharge was applicable to all in the UK on a work, study or family visa for longer than six months. The hike was imposed as part of raising additional funds for the country’s state-funded National Health Service (NHS).
The payment is made at the time of the immigration application. The person is required to pay the fee annually until he or she is granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK or returns to their home country at the end of their visa period.
Clinicians wishing to work in the UK were already facing burdensome processes relating to regulation and immigration, and this surcharge was only going to see UK losing out on quality healthcare professionals from non-EU countries, said a letter sent to UK home secretary from the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) seeking a rethink on the surcharge.