The UK is known for its world-class medical care and many people from outside the UK choose to come for medical treatment. If you are one of them and need a visa, you will be happy to know that the UK offers a tourist visa specifically for those arriving for medical reasons.
UK visa extension for medical purposes
If you believe there is a risk that your treatment may last longer than 6 months, we recommend that you apply for a tourist visa for up to 11 months. This will then protect your immigration status if you need to stay longer.
The good news is that if your medical treatment takes longer than expected, you can extend your tourist visa for 6 months at a cost of £1,000. There is no limit to the number of times you can request a tourist visa extension.
Can I get a UK visa for medical treatment?
Yes, you can do this by applying for a standard tourist visa which allows holders to come to the UK to:
- Receive private medical care at a hospital or other medical facility
- Receive treatment at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital (this must be funded by the visa holder’s government under a reciprocal healthcare agreement)
- Donate an organ to a family member or close friend as a confirmed donor
Do I need a visa to enter the UK for medical treatment?
If you are planning to come to the UK specifically to receive private medical treatment, you may need a visitor visa. To check whether you need a visitor visa, it is advisable to use the Home Office’s online visa check service; this will walk you through a series of questions, including your nationality and why you are traveling to the UK.
If you are from a visa-exempt UK country (e.g. Australia, Barbados, Grenada, New Zealand, the United States or Taiwan) and plan to come to the UK for less than 6 months to receive medical treatment, you will not need a Travel visa. On the other hand, if your stay will be longer than 6 months, you will need to apply for a standard visitor visa which will last up to 11 months, regardless of whether you are a citizen of a UK visa country or not.
Am I eligible for a standard UK tourist visa for medical reasons?
To qualify for a standard tourist visa for medical reasons, you will need to demonstrate in your application to the Home Office that:
- You have been diagnosed with a medical condition requiring advice or treatment in the UK
- They have made arrangements for consultations or treatments
- Have paid or have the necessary financing for medical treatment
- You do not pose a risk to public health in the UK (for example, you have an infectious disease such as leprosy)
Do you actually intend to leave the UK once you have completed your medical treatment
You have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents whilst in the UK and to pay for return or onward travel.
If you are coming to the UK to donate an organ, you will only be eligible for a standard visitor visa if it is a family member you are genetically matched with or someone you have a close personal connection with. As part of the application process, you will also need to demonstrate that the person to whom you are donating the organ has the legal right to be in the UK.
How do I apply for a UK medical visa?
Once you have confirmed that you are eligible for the Standard Medical Tourist Visa, also known as the UK Medical Visa, you need to fill in the online form with the correct details. As well as entering your basic personal information such as names, contact details, date of birth, address and national identification number, you must disclose full details of your family members’ personal information living in the UK if you have relatives living in the UK. Our immigration lawyers in London can make the whole process easier for you.
Here is the application process described below:
- Book and confirm the medical care you need in the UK before applying
- Complete and submit the visitor visa application form online – you will need to confirm your intention to come to the UK for medical treatment and explain the arrangements in place
- Pay the standard visitor visa application fee: £100 for up to 6 months or £200 for up to 11 months.
- Please provide any evidence to support your request. This must include a letter from your doctor explaining your condition, the estimated cost and likely length of treatment and where the medical consultation/treatment will take place in the UK.
- You will also need to attach numerous supporting documents to convince the Home Office that you really deserve the visa. In this note you must provide:
- A valid travel identification document such as a travel passport
- A document from an authorized UK medical expert evidencing the medical agreement made regarding treatment plans in the country, including the expected duration of the relevant treatment or medical procedure.
- Bank statements, pay stubs or any other financial documents to demonstrate your ability to meet your financial obligations related to the treatment or procedure.
- Certified copies of translated documents where there are documents which are not in Welsh or English.
In the case of outpatient placement, you will be required to provide evidence of your intended placement in the UK.
How can I get a UK medical visa?
To get a UK medical visa, you will need to apply online from outside the UK and pay the fee. You may also need to attend an appointment at an overseas visa application center with supporting documentation.
What documents do I need for a medical visa?
To get approved for a UK medical visa, you will need detailed, documented evidence from the medical professionals involved in your treatment or organ donation procedure, where it is advisable to seek advice from an immigration specialist .
How much does a UK medical visa cost?
The cost to apply for a medical visa to visit the UK for up to 6 months is £100. The application fee for a private medical treatment visa lasting more than 6 months but not exceeding 11 months is £200 .
How long does it take to get a medical visa in the UK?
To apply for a UK medical visa from abroad, the processing time for Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to make a decision is usually no more than 3 weeks. You may also be able to pay for a quicker decision.