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Hospital Appointments with a UK Visa

Updated: May 18, 2022

If you are moving from a country with different healthcare systems to the UK, then we can help you to understand how the NHS operates and how you can access healthcare services when needed.

If you are coming to the UK on a visa with a temporary stay of more than 6 months, you could be required to pay a health immigration surcharge when you apply for your Visa. A standard surcharge is £624. If you have paid the surcharge or were exempt from payment and your visa allows you to be living In the UK for more than 6 months, then you will be entitled to free NHS hospital treatment, similar to a current UK resident.

People who are not ordinarily residents in the UK may be required to pay for their care when they are in England. However, some services and some individuals are exempt from payment.

The National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 and government guidance on overseas visitors hospital charging regulations outline the NHS services that are currently free of charge irrespective of an overseas visitor’s country of normal residence (as long as they have not travelled to the UK for the purpose of seeking that treatment). These services are:

  • Accident and emergency services, such as those provided at an A&E department, walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre (not including emergency services provided after being admitted as an inpatient, or at a follow-up outpatient appointment, for which charges must be levied unless the overseas visitor is exempt)

  • Services provided for the diagnosis and treatment of some communicable diseases, including HIV, TB and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) (see the regulations for a list of diseases for which there is no charge for treatment).

  • NHS services provided for COVID-19 investigation, diagnosis and treatment

  • Services provided for diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted infections

  • Family planning services (does not include termination of pregnancy or infertility treatment)

  • Services for treating a physical or mental condition caused by torture, female genital mutilation, domestic violence or sexual violence

  • Palliative care services provided by a registered palliative care charity or a community interest company

  • Services that are provided as part of the NHS 111 telephone advice line

People who have paid the surcharge (or who are exempt from having to pay it or have had the requirement waived) can use the NHS in a similar same way to an ordinarily resident person while their visa remains valid.

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