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Immigration fees for health workers to be debated by MPs

26 January 2023

On Monday 30 January, MPs will debate a petition relating to immigration fees for health workers.

Tonia Antoniazzi MP, a member of the Petitions Committee, has been asked by the Committee to open the debate. MPs from all parties can take part, and the Government will send a minister to respond. 

Immigration fees for health workers 

The petition, which has more than 34,000 signatures, states: “The Home office is charging almost ten times the actual processing cost of indefinite leave to remain application fee from overseas health care workers. The Government should stop making profit from foreign health workers and instead seek to retain those foreign doctors and nurses in our NHS. 

The Government introduced the Health and Care Worker visa in August 2020 with a reduced visa application fee compared to that paid by other skilled workers including exemption from the immigration health surcharge, with a view to make it cheaper and easier for the best health and care professionals around the globe to work in our brilliant NHS. But the Home Office still charge exorbitant fee for ILR. The Government should reduce the ILR fee to retain health workers in our NHS.” 

In its response to the petition, provided 1 February 2022, the Government said: “We recognise the significant contribution of overseas NHS workers, but must be fair to all who use the immigration system. Those who directly benefit from the system should contribute to its funding.” 

What are petitions debates? 

Petitions debates are 'general' debates which allow MPs from all parties to discuss the important issues raised by one or more petitions, and put their concerns to Government Ministers. 

Petition debates don’t end with a vote to implement the request of a petition. This means MPs will not vote on immigration fees for health workers at the end of the debate. 

Further information 

Image: PA