UK: Health Surcharge exemption eliminated for Australian and New Zealand nationals

On or after April 6, 2016, Australian and New Zealand nationals seeking to stay in the United Kingdom for more than six months or renewing their visa in country will be required to pay the immigration health surcharge as part of their visa 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 who were in the United Kingdom for a year or less.

Australian and New Zealand nationals will still not be charged for emergency treatment.

Exemptions Still in Effect

The surcharge will still not apply to the following foreign nationals:

  • Non-EEA nationals coming to the United Kingdom for six months or less;
  • Tourists;
  • Dependants of armed forces; and
  • Those making humanitarian applications.

Although Tier 2 Intra-company Transferees are currently exempt from the surcharge, the Home Secretary is considering recommendations to extend the charge to them.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Australian and New Zealand nationals and employers who plan to pay the surcharge on behalf of employees should be prepared to pay for the entire duration of their visa or leave to remain upfront.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK