Immigration Health Surcharge reimbursement scheme
From 1st October 2020, the UK government set in motion a new initiative known as Immigration Health Surcharge Reimbursement scheme. This is seen as a token of gratitude towards the foreign NHS and care workers who have worked relentlessly and have been an unfailing source of help and reliance during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The reimbursement scheme
The IHS is a charge paid by all non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals so they can access the NHS in the same way as UK residents, if they are working, studying or reuniting with family members in the UK for six months or more.
Eligible individuals who have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) in accordance with the terms of their visas can claim to have this reimbursed. This may also apply to their dependants if they have paid the IHS on their behalf.
The scheme acts as a supplement to the new Tier 2 Health and Care visa, which exempts eligible visa holders from paying the IHS. Those who are not covered by this visa yet have worked in the NHS or care sector from 31st March 2020 are equally eligible to be refunded for the IHS they have paid out.
Individuals in the following circumstances are eligible for a reimbursement.
- They hold a relevant visa
- They have worked in the UK’s health and social care sector for a continuous period of six months or more from 31st March 2020 and
- They have paid the IHS for themselves and/or their dependants
To claim from the scheme, individuals must apply online via a designated online portal. Individuals will receive payment in the form of six-month instalments.
Health and Care visa
The Tier 2 Health and Care visa is designed to operate collectively with this new initiative. This visa route provides a fast-track, more efficient and cost-effective route for skilled overseas health and care workers to enter and work in the UK without having to pay the IHS.
Amid the pandemic, the UK government is introducing benefits such as this to attract workers from overseas in the health and social care sector to come and work in the UK. Considering the new points-based system coming into force from the new year, migrants are advised to consider the newly introduced immigration options and changes to the current immigration system ahead of January 2021.
Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you would like to discuss your immigration options, please get in contact with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at email@example.com or by telephone +44(0)20 3318 5794.