Health and social care staff will be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge from today, the government has announced.
Overseas NHS and care workers are now able to claim their £400 reimbursement from the surcharge, which rises to £624 this month.
The news comes four months after Boris Johnson made a U-turn on his decision to deny foreign care workers an exemption from paying to use the NHS.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “I am incredibly proud of all the fantastic health and care workers from all over the world we have working in our NHS who provide such an invaluable service, from cleaners to care workers to porters.
“We can now deliver on our promise as the reimbursement scheme will benefit those who have given so much this year to protect us all from COVID-19.
“This will encourage overseas health and care workers to continue to come and work in the UK and help those already living here to provide first-class care and support for patients.”
The Government’s Tier 2 Health and Care visa launched in August exempted eligible staff from paying the IHS.
The new reimbursement scheme means that staff not covered by the visa, including social care workers, are able to claim reimbursement for themselves and their dependents.
However, staff must have worked in the NHS or care sector since March 31 to be able to make a claim.
Those eligible can now apply online on gov.uk and access guidance on claiming the reimbursement, which will be paid in six-month instalments.