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Healthcare Surcharge in the UK 2019

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08 October, 2019

NHS - National Health Service Banner

When you begin to plan your next employee relocation there are a long list of questions that need answering. At the top of the list is usually the question “How should I plan for health care”? The healthcare system you are currently used to can be wildly different form the new location; for example, in the UK there is the National Health Service (NHS) for nationals and visitors alike. However, if you’re immigrating to the UK, there some processes that need to be addressed before applying for a VISA such as the healthcare surcharge.

Anyone can register with a GP

The NHS is the public healthcare service in the UK, through it you can book free consultations with your local GP or nurse for any primary care services for registered NHS patients or temporary patients (those that are in the area for more than 24 hours and less than 3 months). For secondary care services (i.e. specialist treatment) the system is residence-based dependant on the patient living in the UK either as national or long-term visitors with the required immigration status of indefinite leave to remain.

Anyone can register with a GP without incurring a charge. GP practices are not required to ask for proof of identity or proof address but some might ask anyway. On the other hand, practices cannot refuse a patient because they do not produce identification of proof of address.

The healthcare surcharge was put in place in April 2015, the intention is to ensure migrants make financial reparations for health services across the UK that they may need to use.

Payment of the surcharge may be a requirement of the immigration application you complete; however, it is dependent on the immigration status you’re applying for. You may be asked by your employee “How much is the healthcare surcharge”? Well, the amount you have to pay depends on how much time you are granted to remain; this can be calculated before you apply for your visa.

You can start using the NHS when you’ve paid the healthcare surcharge and your visa or immigration application is granted.

Answering Employing Relocation QuestionsSo, a piece of advice before arranging your next business trip, check the healthcare requirements for your host country. If you are looking to move to the UK and are would like more context on the healthcare surcharge, the list of links below will offer more in-depth information or legislation.

When relocating an employee this is one of many queries that might be raised. At Clearview Relocation our team of well-travelled individuals have excellent local area knowledge to help families with home searches, school options, cultural awareness and so much more. We are here to support you and your employee through the relocation process.


Get in touch today to see how we can help relocate your assignee.


Resources for Healthcare Surcharges in the UK;

UK healthcare surcharge as part of Immigration/VISA application

NHS Website

NHS Entitlements for Migrants 

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