UK migration to be costlier, budget to keep up NHS benefits

UK budget UK visa costlier

UK migration will be a costlier affair after the hiked cost for a long-term visa. This is a new development after the latest budget tabled by Rishi Sunak.

The UK’s Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is of Indian origin. He was born in the UK. His father was a general practitioner and mother was a pharmacist. He is a British Conservative Party politician. He is currently serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer since February 2020.

The increased cost of long-term visas will be a result of the hike in Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). This will be a major increase – from £400 to £624. Even with the hike, he said that there will be a discounted rate for children. Still, it will make immigration to the UK pricier.

This change will be in effect in October 2020. It will be applicable to all non-EEA nationals. It will also apply to their relevant family members. These family members must have made immigration applications to arrive and reside in the UK.

The hike will be applicable to those who will remain in the UK for over 6 months. It will be applicable also to those who are extending their leave.

The National Health Service (NHS) provides great benefits to people including migrants. Rishi states that the hike has been imposed to ensure that the cost of the scheme matches the benefits. In fact, this hike was promised in his party’s General Election manifesto in 2019. It was the manifesto of the Boris Johnson –led government.

This promise of an increase in rates is implemented this year. The discounted rate for children under 18 years of age, will be £470. For international students, however, the lower running rate will increase from £300 to £470.

The IHS was introduced in April 2015. Since December 2018, the IHS fee has been hiked from £200 to £400 per year. The fee is mandatorily applied to migrants. It’s applicable to any migrant who is working, studying or on a family visa in the UK for over half a year. This is done to raise additional funds to keep the NHS operational.

The British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) had a less than welcome take on the hike. They speculate an adverse effect of the increase in the surcharge. They say that it will affect their attempts to recruit more healthcare professionals from India. This recruitment will be necessary to meet the shortage of staff in the NHS. The Indian industry has warned that the further hike would add a burden as it adds to the already high visa fees.

A more expensive visa will put skilled workers in a fix. It will also burden Indian businesses operating in the UK further. This concern was shared by Baroness Usha Prashar. She’s the Chair of the UK Council of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

FICCI’s opinion on the budget was that overall it’s balanced and pragmatic. It was observed so especially in the backdrop of the COVID-19 outbreak.  The increased investment in Research & Development (R&D) has been increased to £22 billion a year. There is also an announcement of £130 million as new funding to give away as startup loans. FICCI observed both these as favorable moves. This is because these will give a major impetus to entrepreneurship and innovation.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to UK, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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