Author Topic: Work visa and healthcare  (Read 297 times)

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Offline SouthFlorida

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Work visa and healthcare
« on: April 11, 2018, 02:49:33 PM »
We are considering an intracompany relocation to the UK on a 3 year work visa (renewable for another 2 years) and I was told that benefits would be private health insurance "similar to what we have here in the US."  Well, if I'm paying into the NHS (which I would be) would I and my family(spouse and soon to be 16 year old) not be entitled to the services?  Factors such as taxes, and healthcare -- and whether or not the company will pay for us to return to the US under certain circumstances (they lay me off, or I exhaust VISAs) -- are definitely weighing in on our decision to make the jump or not.  Thanks!

Offline ksand24

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2018, 02:59:35 PM »
Well, if I'm paying into the NHS (which I would be) would I and my family(spouse and soon to be 16 year old) not be entitled to the services?

You will be entitled to 'free' NHS healthcare, as you will each be paying the IHS surcharge to cover you for NHS healthcare (and you will be paying taxes towards it as well).

The IHS surcharge is currently £200 per year of the visa (£600 each paid at time of application), but it will be doubling to £400 per year (£1,200 each) sometime this year. It used to be that Tier 2 ICT visa holders did not have to pay the IHS surcharge, but this changed last year.

The private healthcare offered by the company will be an added extra on top of NHS healthcare, and because you will generally use the NHS in the first instance, UK private healthcare/insurance is really only used as a top up. Quite a few companies do offer health insurance as a benefit of employment, but even if you don't have any insurance, you'll still be able to get NHS healthcare.

For example:
- if you get an NHS referral to a specialist, you could use the insurance to see a private specialist
- to skip the waiting lines for surgeries/procedures
- to cover elective surgeries that aren't available on the NHS (like cosmetic surgery),
- to cover medications that may be too expensive or too new/experimental to be offered on the NHS (which isn't many, really).
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 03:03:51 PM by ksand24 »

Offline ksand24

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2018, 03:01:07 PM »
Not sure if you're already aware, but the Tier 2 ICT visa does not lead to settlement (permanent residence) or citizenship in the UK.

The maximum length of time you can stay in the UK is 5 years (or 9 years if you earn over £120,000) and then you have to leave.

Offline SouthFlorida

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 03:07:00 PM »
Thanks for the response and yes, I warned my boss about getting the boot after 5 years.  I'd never meet the requirements for citizenship as I travel for my job.  There's no way I'd ever meet the no more than 450 days over 5 years outside of the UK.  Maybe my salary would get into that upper zone by then, but I doubt it! 

Online KFdancer

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 03:10:58 PM »
Yeah, without a doubt the biggest concern will be kids (I think you said in your intro post you had kids) and moving back and forth.  How old are your kids?

Depending on their ages now and what their ages will be in 5 years, private school may be the best option - and should be included in your relo package.

Offline SouthFlorida

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2018, 03:15:05 PM »
My older boy graduates high school next month and my younger boy will be 16 in September and is currently a freshman in high school - will be a sophomore next year.

Online KFdancer

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2018, 03:24:25 PM »
When does your eldest turn 18?  He may not be able to join you...

You definitely want American schooling for your youngest then.  Will you be living near one of the schools to make that a realistic option?

When the visa is up for renewal after 3 years, you'll only be able to include the youngest on the application (and possibly the oldest if he's not yet 18) if he is still fully dependent on you.

Offline SouthFlorida

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2018, 03:29:30 PM »
My elder boy is already 18 so we know he can’t come which is distressing for me, but not him since he was already planning on moving out / going to school.  We would expect our younger boy would want to return to the States for college anyway.  The only reason we would lean towards staying a full five years is my husband hits retirement age in 4 years which would be a good time to come home.  Especially since we know I’d never get naturalized unless I leave my job - which would be the reason for moving there in the first place.


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Online KFdancer

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 03:33:01 PM »
Sounds like you've done some great research.

The difficulty with the 16 year old is the difference in school systems between the USA and UK.  Technically education ends at 16 here.  Kids then choose to either go to college (trade school) or to complete A-levels.  He won't have the necessary requirements to move into A-levels, so he'll really need to stay with a US based education system.

You can't change jobs with an ICT visa without a 12 month cooling off period outside the UK, so no worries there.  :)

Offline SouthFlorida

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2018, 03:40:00 PM »
My son and school is a huge consideration and a sticking point.  He has the highest GPA in his freshman class and he intends to keep it that way, so he’s potentially looking at some really sweet scholarships particularly here in Florida - as long as we stay put. 


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Online KFdancer

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 03:49:43 PM »
My son and school is a huge consideration and a sticking point.  He has the highest GPA in his freshman class and he intends to keep it that way, so he’s potentially looking at some really sweet scholarships particularly here in Florida - as long as we stay put. 


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Wow!  That's fantastic!

What school is he hoping for?  I'm a Florida native and UCF grad (for my undergrad).

Offline SouthFlorida

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2018, 04:18:57 PM »
Wow!  That's fantastic!

What school is he hoping for?  I'm a Florida native and UCF grad (for my undergrad).
He doesn’t know really but his second generation Flogrown Gator mama has some ideas...

Plus he wants to be a veterinarian and there’s only one vet school in Florida.


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Online KFdancer

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Re: Work visa and healthcare
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2018, 04:29:23 PM »
He doesn’t know really but his second generation Flogrown Gator mama has some ideas...

Plus he wants to be a veterinarian and there’s only one vet school in Florida.


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While I can't claim to be a Gator fan (my friend who just moved her 14 year old pup back is a Gator and the poor boy wears the ugliest collar), my old vet WAS a UF grad and I loved him.   ;D

So yeah, their vets get my vote!