Building on the recent changes to the Immigration Rules, the Government has published an Immigration Bill with the objective of “reform[ing] immigration laws, ensuring our immigration system is fair to hard-working people and legal migrants, while cracking down on those here illegally.”
The Government has confirmed that a key concept of the Bill is to prevent migrants from using public services to which they are not entitled, with the aim of reducing what the Government has termed as “pull factors” currently attracting migrants to the UK.
Amongst the proposals in the Bill is a provision introducing the power for the Secretary of State to require certain migrants who have only a time-limited immigration status to make a contribution to the National Health Service. Interestingly, the Government’s website refers expressly to the possibility of overseas students being included in this category.
The precise amount of such charges and mechanism for payment are unclear at this stage and would be set down in any Order made by the Secretary of State if the Bill passes through Parliament to become enacted as law.
We will be tracking the progress of the Bill closely and will post updates here as they happen.