People from different countries often come to the UK for medical treatment. However, you need a visa if you wish to receive medical treatment in the UK.
In order to get this treatment in the UK, you can apply under the UK visitor visa category. A UK visitor visa allows you to come to the UK and stay for a maximum of 6 months – after which, you must leave the UK. However, there are certain eligibility requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to stay for up to six months.
Eligibility for visiting the UK for medical treatment
All foreign nationals coming to the UK for medical treatment need to prove the following before they can obtain a UK visitor visa:
- They can afford to support themselves financially during their stay in the UK
- They have no intention of working or studying during their time in the UK
- They will leave the UK at the end of their visit
There are also some general eligibility conditions, which everyone must meet in order to obtain a UK visitor visa and receive private medical treatment. These are:
- You have a medical condition that requires private treatment or consultation within the UK
- Your treatment will last less than the permitted duration of your visit; in order words, under six months.
- You are financially able to pay for your treatment.
In some cases, applicants may also be required to formally declare that they will pay for their own treatment and, if the medical condition classifies as a contagious disease, they may also need to prove that it does not present a threat to public health within the UK.
Applying for a UK medical treatment visa
In order to apply for a UK medical treatment visa, you need to use the standard visitor visa form VAF 1. If you have family members in the UK, you need to declare it on the form along with full details of their personal information. Along with this, you also need to provide supporting documents, such as:
- A current passport or other valid travel identification
- A letter or document from a registered UK medical practitioner which demonstrates that medical arrangements have been made for the treatment of your disease. It must also state how long the procedure or treatment will take.
- Financial documents, such as bank statements, which can be used to prove that you can afford to pay for the treatment.
- A certified translation of any documents that are not originally written in English or Welsh.
In addition to such documentation, you’ll also need to supply other required information, which may include the specific date of your travel to the UK and other details of your stay, such as your intended general location throughout your visit.
When you apply for a UK visitor visa for medical treatment, you’ll be told where to send your application. Once your application is successful, you can come to the UK for private medical treatment for a maximum of six months. Once your treatment is completed – or your visa expires – you must leave the UK.
Extending your stay
Your treatment may require you to stay for more than six months. If this is the case, you can apply to extend your stay in the UK. However, you must make this application once you’re already in the UK and before your UK visitor visa expires. As with the initial application, you’ll have to prove that further treatment is required, you have paid for the treatment cost so far and you can also pay for any anticipated future treatment.
Will I qualify for NHS treatment on a UK visitor visa?
Unfortunately, foreign nationals who enter the UK under a visitor’s visa, which was granted so they could receive private medical treatment, are not eligible for free medical treatment under the National Health Service (NHS). So, you would not be eligible regardless of how long you’re permitted to stay in the UK as a visitor.