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NHS Medical Treatment for Overseas Visitors

If you are a visitor to the UK or have overstayed your UK Visa, would you be able to afford NHS treatment in an emergency situation?


UK Citizens and other individuals who have status in the UK benefit from free health care from the NHS. On the other hand, if you are a visitor, overstayer or seeking asylum in the UK then you may soon need to pay for any medical treatment you receive.


Changes to NHS policies in regard to free medical treatment for non-UK citizens are set to come into action very soon. These changes outline that if you are not a UK citizen, in order to qualify for free NHS treatment you need to meet certain exemption criteria or have adequate health insurance to cover the duration of your stay in the UK.


There are some services that are given by the NHS that are free of charge to everyone, such as treatment given in an Accident and Emergency Department or in an NHS walk-in centre which provides similar services.


Emergency services that are provided in other areas of the hospital are not included in the list of free services provided by the NHS, and if you are a visitor, overstayer or asylum seeker in the UK, if you or a member of your family find yourself requiring urgent emergency treatment then you may be expected to cover the cost of the treatment.


Many people seeking to visit or settle in the UK may suffer from illnesses and medical conditions that require special treatment. If an emergency were to occur and you or a member of your family required NHS treatment, would you be able to afford the costly treatment to ensure their well-being?


If you fit one of the following criteria then you may qualify for free NHS treatment;

  • Anyone who is working in the UK for an employer who is UK based or registered in the UK as a branch of an overseas employer.
  • Full-time students on a course of at least six months of duration.
  • Anyone who has come to permanently live in the UK. If you make an application for permanent residency after you get here, then you are chargeable until your application is approved.
  • Refugees and asylum seekers whose application is still being considered by the home office.
  • Diplomatic staff working at embassies or Commonwealth High Commissions in the UK.
  • Anyone who is a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) member state, a refugee, or a stateless person or their dependant or survivor living in an EEA member state who is referred to the UK for specified treatment with an EC form E112 or E123.
  • Anyone who is detained in prison or by the Immigration Authorities in the UK.
  • The husband or wife and any dependent children of anyone who is exempt under the above criteria, if they are living permanently with an exempt person.
  • Anyone living in a country with which the UK has a bilateral healthcare agreement.


If you don’t fit into any of these criteria, you would be expected to pay for any medical treatment that you would require.


At Duncan Lewis, we understand that if you are in the UK and don’t qualify for free NHS treatment, should an emergency rise and you or a member of your family were to require emergency treatment, it may be very difficult to you to meet the costs required to secure their well-being.


This is why we are here to help. If you need NHS treatment, but can’t afford the costs, we may be able to help you to get access to free NHS treatment.


Due to the fact that laws surrounding overseas visitors and their access to NHS treatment are imminently getting stricter, it will only become more difficult to gain access to free medical treatment.


If you are in the UK and require emergency medical treatment, but don’t qualify, then get in touch with Duncan Lewis today and discuss your issue with our immigration solicitors.


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