UK Medical Visa requirements for private treatment and checkup

UK Medical Visitor Visa Fee 2018/19 from Outside the UKThis relates to UK medical visitor visa entry clearance and extension application requirements for private medical treatment and checkup. Accordingly, covers the following topics:

  1. UK medical visitor visa requirements for private treatment and checkup
    • Duration of UK medical visa for private treatment and checkup
    • How to get a UK medical visitor visa for 11-months?
    • Confirming details of a medical doctor in the UK
    • Medical clearance for danger to public health
    • What is the UK medical attendant visa?
    • UK medical visitor visa application fee
    • UK medical visitor visa processing time
    • Applications for medical treatment at the border
  2. UK medical visitor visa extension requirements for treatment and checkup
    • Proof of funds for UK medical visa extension
    • UK medical visa extension application fee
  3. No free medical treatment for visitors from NHS
    • Organ donors can avail free medical treatment
    • Relationship of organ donor with the recipient
    • Organ donation for pecuniary consideration is an offence
    • NHS can reimburse expenses to an organ donor

1) UK medical visitor visa requirements for private treatment

A standard visitor visa for the purpose of getting private medical treatment and checkup in the UK is commonly known as the UK medical visa. Certainly, in order to get a visa on medical grounds, an applicant apart from fulfilling all the UK visitor visa application requirements also needs to meet additional requirements.  Perhaps, for private medical treatment in the UK, an applicant might not be able to provide specific documentary evidence for medical treatment and checkup. However, an applicant needs to satisfy the following requirements for getting a UK medical visitor visa:

  1. the present medical condition of the applicant and treatment history
  2. an estimate of the expenses that may incur on the private medical care in the UK
  3. paid arrangements for private medical consultations or treatment in the UK
  4. the source of funds for the proposed medical treatment
  5. approximate duration of medical treatment in the UK
  6. ample funds for the treatment to meet medical and living expenses without recourse to public funds
  7. ample funds for the return or onward journey
  8. the applicant is not a danger to public health. And is not suffering from an infectious disease, such as leprosy
  9. the applicant will leave the UK once after completion of the treatment, or upon expiry of the visa

Duration of UK medical visa for private treatment and checkup

Perhaps, a good majority of visitors intending to undergo private medical treatment in the UK may not need to stay for more than 6 months. However, if an applicant is planning to stay longer than six months for private medical treatment than can apply for an 11-month medical visitor visa.

How to get a UK medical visitor visa for 11-months?

An applicant needs to provide all the appropriate medical evidence to support the reason for remaining in the UK for 11 months. Accordingly, an applicant may get an 11-month UK visitor visa for medical treatment if an applicant is able to prove a clear need. And also the ability to bear the cost of the treatment.

The applicant needs to justify the duration of treatment as the immigration officer will assess the time period of the treatment and may also talk to the medical consultant/doctor who will be either conducting or supervising the treatmentIf the treatment is deemed to be open-ended, then the application is likely to be refused.

Confirming details of a medical doctor in the UK

During the assessment process, the caseworker can check the Medical Doctor’s registration with the General Medical Council (GMC).

On the Registered Medical Practitioners’ List, the doctor should be on the Specialist Register. Moreover, if there is any doubt, then the caseworker can contact the hospital directly. And also confirms that the doctor is practising at the hospital or not.

Medical clearance for danger to public health

Applications of all such applicants, who are diagnosed with either a communicable disease or suffer/appear to suffer from a severe illness/disability for any reason, are referred for a medical clearance during the assessment process.

Contagious Disease

If an applicant is diagnosed with a contagious disease, then the ECO may also refer to a medical officer.

What is the UK medical attendant visa?

There is no permitted activity (i.e. no provision under the rules) for a family member, friend or nurse to accompany a visitor coming to the UK for private medical treatment. Therefore, any attendant needs to apply as a visitor and satisfy the requirements of the visitor rules.

Grant of leave outside the immigration rules

In case the attendant is not able to meet the requirements of an initial or extension application, then Referred Casework Unit (RCU) ascertains whether to grant leave outside of the immigration rules or not to an accompanying medical attendant.

UK medical visitor visa fee

From March 29, 2019, the UK visa fee for private medical treatment and checkup for more than 6 months but less than 11 months has increased. Therefore, after an escalation of £4, the UK medical visa application charge will increase from £186 to £190.

UK medical visa processing time

For non-settlement visa processing such as UK Medical Visa, the service standard of UKVI are as under:

  • To process 90% of the medical visitor visa applications within 3 weeks or 15 working days;
  • conclude 98% of the UK medical visitor visa applications from outside the UK within 6 weeks or 30 working days;
  • To decide all the non-settlement medical visitor visa applications from outside the UK within 12 weeks or 60 working days.

Fast-tracking UK medical visitor visa application

Certainly, for fast-tracking UK medical visa, applicants can avail priority and super priority visa service of UKVI. The UKVI’s service standard for priority service for medical visitors is usually 5 working days or one week. Moreover, at some UKVACs super priority service is also available. Accordingly, the service standard for super priority service is usually 24 hours. However, both priority and super priority service are for straightforward applications and do not guarantee any favourable outcome.

Applications for medical treatment at the border

At the border, if a visitor is coming to the UK for either receiving or intending to receive health/medical treatment then such cases are referred to a port medical inspector. Accordingly, an entry can either be granted or refused on the recommendation of the medical inspector.

Applicants are required to satisfy that they are able to meet the requirements i.e. have sufficient funds and other necessary requirements for receiving private medical treatment in the UK.

Such applicants are usually granted entry for not more than six (6) months, subject to mandatory stipulations i.e. no recourse to public funds, work and study.

2) UK medical visitor visa extension requirements

In terms of paragraph V8.6 of Appendix V for visitors, for UK medical visitor visa extension application for a further 6 month, an applicant needs to prove that the applicant:

  • has paid for any private medical treatment, which the applicant already had in the UK
  • has ample funds and can pay for the further costs of the medical treatment in the UK
  • continues to meet the eligibility requirements

Moreover, an applicant also needs a medical practitioner or NHS consultant who’s registered in the UK to provide:

  • the proof of arrangements for the private medical consultation or treatment in the UK
  • a letter elaborating the likely duration of the medical treatment in the UK
  • if the treated has already started then also the details of the progress of treatment.

Proof of funds for UK medical visa extension

For extension requests for private medical treatment, the applicant needs to provide the proof of funds. If the either applicant’s own funds or a third party’s funds will transfer from abroad, then the applicant needs to furnish evidence of transferability of the funds. For the third party’s funds, an applicant also needs to provide fresh or most recent confirmation of the sponsor’s willingness and ability to meet the cost.

UK medical visa extension application fee

Moreover, the application fee for UK medical visa extension for leave to remain as a visitor is £993. And also £1,603 with the premium or same day service.

3) No free medical treatment for visitors from NHS

Only in case, an exemption is legally provided for, visitors are usually, not entitled to any free of charge treatment from HM’s National Health Service (NHS). Therefore, visitors have to pay the bill for any medical treatment, which they receive through the NHS during their stay on a visitor visa in the UK.

The UK has Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements (RHCAs) with some countries, which generally provide equivalent access to the citizens of contracting countries for any immediate health care services, only when they are visiting the other country for a limited duration. Treatment under RHCAs is provided on the same terms and conditions as that to a local resident and free of charge in the United Kingdom. Mostly, RHCAs apply to short-term visitors only. RHCAs also cater for treatment that may arise during migrants stay in the UK. RHCAs do not generally allow migrants to visit the UK for seeking medical care.

Organ donors can avail free medical treatment

Visitors can only access paid medical treatment in the UK. However, the only exception is the medical treatment for an organ donor.

The organ donors are required to provide specific and conclusive evidence with their applications that they are either a donor match or are already identified as a potential donor to a designated recipient in the United Kingdom.

Relationship of organ donor with the recipient

In the UK medical visa application, the organ donor needs to explain the relationship with the recipient. Accordingly, the applicant needs to satisfy the caseworker for a genetic or close personal relationship with the prospective recipient in the UK.

Genetic relationships mean that the donor is a blood relative to the recipient in the United Kingdom. A close personal relationship usually means that the donor is the spouse, partner or close friend of the identified recipient in the UK. Close relationships do not include relations established through social media such as Facebook.

Organ donation for pecuniary consideration is an offence

Organ donation for financial consideration is an offence in the UK. However, reimbursement of expenses can only take place through the NHS. In case during the application assessment if there is any suspension that a payment is for organ donation then Risk and Liaison Overseas Network (RALON) takes up the case.

In the application, the visitor must also satisfy that the identified recipient is not only living in the UK legally but the recipient is also entitled to receive treatment at NHS or in a private hospital.

NHS can reimburse expenses to an organ donor

Visitors donating organs to patients through NHS treatment can be reimbursed for expenses that they have incurred and are directly attributable to being a donor. Such expenditures include travel costs and also the opportunity cost i.e. loss of earnings. NHS usually reimburse such expenses after the treatment. The visitor needs to satisfy in the application about the funding of the stay in the UK.

Care arrangement for the children of an organ donor

The visiting organ donors should not bring their dependant children. The organ donor can only bring their dependant children with them if:

  1. there is no immediate care arrangement for the children is available in the home country, and
  2. they have made satisfactory arrangements in the UK for looking after the children.

Accordingly, the visiting organ donor needs to satisfy in the caseworker relating to necessary arrangements. Moreover, arrangements become altogether more important during hospitalization or recuperation period.

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