From April 6 2016, Australian and New Zealand nationals submitting an application under the Immigration Rules will be subject to the immigration health surcharge. The surcharge will be applied to both initial applications made from outside the United Kingdom and applications for further leave to remain submitted from within the United Kingdom.

Australian and New Zealand nationals were previously exempt from the surcharge under reciprocal healthcare agreements between the United Kingdom and both countries. However, the Home Office reports that the surcharge will now be extended to these nationals to ensure fairness in the distribution of the National Health Service cost burden among migrants.

The surcharge was initially introduced in April 2015 and is payable by those who seek entry to the United Kingdom for more than six months, unless an exemption applies (eg, on the grounds of the applicant being a dependant of a member of the UK armed forces). The surcharge is calculated at £200 per person per year. A discounted rate of £150 is offered to those who apply under Tier 4 and the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme.

Applications for entry clearance and further leave to remain submitted on or before April 5 2016 will not attract the surcharge.

For further information on this topic please contact Ben Sheldrick at Magrath LLP by telephone (+44 20 7495 3003) or email (ben.sheldrick@magrath.co.uk). The Magrath LLP website can be accessed at www.magrath.co.uk.

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