Medical treatment from the National Health Service

New rules for National Health Service charges

From 6 th April 2015 medical treatment from the National Health Service  (NHS) is no longer free for all International Students.

This means that if youy course of study is 6 months or more you will need to apply for the Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa process

The National Health Service (NHS) might seem very complicated if you have not used the system before. The NHS is a public funded system which provides health care for residents in the United Kingdom (UK).

New International Health Surcharge for health care treatment from the NHS

In order to utilise the NHS in the UK, the government have introduced a new surcharge, effective from 6th April 2015

  • The Health surcharge must be paid by non-EEA nationals who apply to come to the UK to work, study or join family for a time-limited period of more than 6 months
  • It must also be paid by non -EEA nationals who are already in the UK and apply to extend their stay
  • The surcharge is £150 per person per year and will be charged for the maximum period of leave which can be granted under the immigration rules. Any additional period of leave of 6 months or less is charged at a fixed rate of £75. For example, a Master’s student applying for a Tier 4 visa to cover a 12-month course would be charged £225. This is because such students will receive a visa which is valid for 17 months in total and the surcharge calculation is based on the length of leave, not the length of course.

Payment of the surcharge is a mandatory requirement. The Tier 4 application form will calculate the amount that you need to pay and ask you to pay it before you can complete your Tier 4 application. Once you have done this you will receive an email containing your IHS reference number. This number will automatically be included on your Tier 4 application form cover sheet.

Note: some people are exempt from paying the immigration health surcharge, including Australian and New Zealand nationals and British Overseas Territory citizens who live in the Falkland Islands. However, these people must still complete the IHS section of the Tier 4 application form and will obtain a reference number even though they are not required to pay the IHS.

* If you are a student from another country in the European Union, here for less than 6 months, you will require a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which must be obtained from your home country.

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