Indians and non-nationals of the European Economic Area who wish to reside in the country for over six months are required to pay new fees per year while applying for a visa, effective 6 April 2015.
Students who have already entered the United Kingdom from outside EEA will need to pay the new surcharge in case of extending their stay. India is the major source of students to the UK after China. Nearing to 19,750 of its citizens are registered in higher education in the academic year 2013 and 2014, as per the higher education statistics agency. And, Indians who are studying in the UK will now have to pay a fee to cover possible treatment under the National Health Service of the country.
As per sources, individuals who are visiting the country on a tourist visa are not required to pay the new fee and those people who are moving to the country for work on an intra-company transfer visa also known as ICT Tier 2 are not required to pay. The Australians and New Zealanders are also exempted from the fee and still have to register on the surcharge website.
People who pay the surcharge will have the same access to the NHS as a permanent resident of the UK. They can enjoy the privilege till their visa is valid. Students need to complete the visa application form and pay the visa fee and book a visa application center appointment on the Visa4UK website. However, applicants are necessitated to make their Health Surcharge payment. Candidates are required to pay the health surcharge before attending the appointment at their visa application center, stated sources.
And, it has to be mentioned here that when an application is refused, withdrawn or rejected, the charge will be given back. Dependents are required to pay the same amount as of the main applicant. On the other hand, nationals of Non-EEA entering the country on a tourist visa are not required to pay the health surcharge as their treatment will be chargeable by the health department.
Additionally, citizens of Australia or New Zealand are not required to pay the surcharge because of reciprocal healthcare agreements. Citizens of British Overseas Territories who are residing in the Falklands Islands are also exempt. Nonetheless, exempt groups are still required to log onto the surcharge website to verify that they are exempt and obtain a reference number before attending the appointment at the visa application center. These applicants are required to have a reference number while applying for a visa.
Moreover, specific vulnerable groups will be exempt from the surcharge and will be able to get free NHS service.