Immigration health surcharge for international volunteers grossly unfairType: News
Published on: 17th September 2020
Changes to the UK’s immigration system is of key concern not only to Camphill in Scotland but to many organisations across the UK who currently attract volunteers from overseas. Camphill is a worldwide organisation with an international outlook and our global volunteers “add sparkle” to communities.
Camphill Scotland’s Director, Emma Walker said
Volunteers are highly valued and appreciated in Camphill settings across Scotland, and we currently attract over 200 overseas volunteers every year. Most of these volunteers are young people who wish to experience life in Camphill in Scotland for a year.
There are many other countries who are eager to welcome their skills and dedication, and being asked to pay an immigration health surcharge of over £600 is likely to deter many young people from volunteering in the UK.
The UK Government’s proposed new points-based immigration system, which comes into effect on 1 January 2021, appears to confirm that international volunteers, including those seeking to volunteer in charitable health and social care settings, will be liable to pay an immigration health surcharge.
The health surcharge of over £600 is a significant amount of money to find, particularly for young people who come from other countries to volunteer in the UK for a year. We believe that this surcharge is grossly unfair, and will have an adverse impact upon the ability of charities across the UK to recruit international volunteers.
House of Lords seeks clarity on immigration surcharge for volunteers
The UK Government recently announced that health and social care workers from other countries will be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge. The House of Lords this week debated an Amendment which seeks to clarify whether or not this amendment will extend to international volunteers working in health and social care settings.
The Amendment to the UK Government’s Immigration and Social Security Co-Ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill was tabled by Baroness Jolly, a Liberal Democrat peer, on behalf of Camphill Scotland, SCVO, the Alliance, and 53 partner organisations across the UK.
Follow this link to the debate, which can be found at columns 110 -113.
Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, a Government Whip, confirmed to Baroness Jolly that the Minister will meet her to discuss her Amendment, and our concerns.