The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) opened the immigration health surcharge (IHS) reimbursement scheme on 1 October 2020 following the government's announcement in May 2020 that all health and care staff would be removed from the surcharge, and those eligible under the health and care visa would be exempt.
The scheme allows overseas NHS and care workers employed since 31 March 2020 to claim reimbursement for themselves and their dependants. Please note that individuals on a Tier 2 skilled worker visa should not need to apply and should have automatically received their refund from UK Visas and Immigration.
To date, many eligible NHS, independent and care staff have successfully claimed their IHS reimbursement. However, there are still many eligible applicants who have not yet made a claim. Applications are now being processed for the period 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021, though it is possible to backdate a claim to 31 March 2020 if staff haven’t already applied.
It is important to note that applicants can also make a claim if the IHS was originally paid by their employer and are now having this reclaimed from their salary.
Please see UK.GOV for eligibility requirements and guidance on how to apply is also available which we encourage you to share with staff.
The NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) is keen to hear from potential or actual applicants who can help identify ways the scheme can be made more user friendly.
Participants will be testing out the online service or a prototype that will help to support people to get a reimbursement and may also be invited to take part in short interviews. The research session will take no longer than one hour and will be done remotely. Participants will receive a gift voucher for taking part in this research.
NHS BSA would like to hear from a wide variety of roles, such as health assistants, care home managers, receptionists or cleaners. To be eligible, participants must be at least 18 years old and be either:
- a Tier 2 (General) visa holder
- a Tier 4 (Student) visa holder who is working in the health and social care sector alongside their studies
- a dependant of a Tier 2 (General) or Tier 4 (Student) visa holder who is working in the health and the social care sector
- a dependant of a UK national or another migrant, or
- a Tier 5 Medical Training Initiative (MTI) visa holder.
To take part and help NHS BSA understand any difficulties with the current IHS reimbursement process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.