Bishop of Durham asks about immigration health surcharge, impact on children and NHS workers

On 1st & 20th April 2020 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received answers to written questions on the immigration health surcharge:


The Lord Bishop of Durham: HL2736 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence was used to inform the increase in the immigration health surcharge, announced in the 2020 Budget.

 Lord Bethell: The Department looked at actual data on surcharge-payers’ use of the National Health Service between April 2015 and September 2019 and their length of stay in the United Kingdom. This estimated the total costs to the NHS of treating the average surcharge-payer to be around £624 per person per annum.


The Lord Bishop of Durham: HL2737 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to publish an impact assessment of the proposed increase in the immigration health surcharge; and whether any such assessment will include the impact on children’s rights.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: The Impact assessment for the Immigration Health Surcharge Order can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2020/30/pdfs/ukia_20200030_en.pdf

A policy equality statement and family test have also been completed.

Legislation – UKIA 2020/30 (PDF Document, 301.67 KB)


The Lord Bishop of Durham:  HL2738 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to exempting NHS workers from the immigration health surcharge.

Baroness Williams of Trafford: The Government fully recognises the role overseas Doctor’s Nurses and Allied Health Professional play in our NHS, hence we are working to introduce an NHS visa for qualified health professionals who will be offered fast track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to come to the UK with their families.

Yet it is right all who come to work in the UK contribute towards the cost of providing the NHS services they will have access to from their arrival as do providers of other essential public services such as teachers and care-workers. Those who show a long-term commitment to our country become exempt from the immigration health surcharge when they secure Indefinite Leave to Remain.