A Guide to UK Medical Visa Requirements for Private Treatment
This relates to UK medical visitor visa entry clearance and extension application requirements for private treatment and checkup. Moreover, also covers UK medical visit visa requirements for organ donation.
UK Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa Requirements
In fact, a standard visitor visa for the purpose of getting private medical treatment and check-up in the UK is commonly known as the UK medical visa. However, to get a UK visa on medical treatment grounds, an applicant apart from fulfilling all the standard visitor visa requirements, also needs to meet the additional requirements. 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 treatment visitor visa:
- the present medical condition of the applicant and treatment history
- an estimate of the expenses that may incur on the private medical care in the UK
- paid arrangements for private medical consultations or treatment in the UK
- the source of funds for the proposed medical treatment
- approximate duration of medical treatment in the UK
- ample funds for the treatment to meet medical and living expenses without recourse to public funds
- ample funds for the return or onward journey
- the applicant is not a danger to public health. And is not suffering from an infectious disease, such as leprosy
- the applicant will leave the UK after completion of the treatment or upon expiry of the visa
Additional Requirements for 11-Month UK Medical Visa
In fact, 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 a UK medical visa for 11-months if an applicant is able to prove a clear need and the ability to bear the cost of the treatment.
Quite clearly, the applicant needs to justify the duration of treatment. Indeed, the immigration officer assesses the time-period of the treatment. Accordingly, may also talk to the medical consultant/doctor, who will be either conducting or supervising the treatment. If the decision maker deems that the treatment as open-ended, then may refuse the application.
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2. Guidance Notes
Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa UK Requirements
All 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. If an applicant is diagnosed with a contagious disease, then the ECO may also refer to a medical officer.
Duration and Fees
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 treatment than can apply for an 11-month medical visitor visa. From Feb 20, 2020, the application charges for UK medical treatment visa for more than 6 months but less than 11 months £190.
The UK medical visa processing time is usually with 15 working days or 3 weeks. However, with priority service, the UK medical visitor visa processing time is 5 working days. 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 certainly, do not guarantee any favourable outcome.
During the assessment process, the caseworker is quite likely to check the Medical Doctor’s registration with the General Medical Council (GMC). Therefore, 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 confirm that whether the doctor is practising at the hospital.
At the Border
At the border, the cases for visiting the UK for private medical treatment are referred to a port medical inspector. Accordingly, a non-visa national can get an entry clearance on the recommendation of the medical inspector. However, such applicants need to meet the requirements i.e. have sufficient funds and other necessary requirements for receiving private treatment in the UK. Moreover, 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.
Private Medical Treatment Visitor Visa UK Requirements
Can a medical attendant accompany the patient?
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. However, if an 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 to an accompanying medical attendant.
Can visitors get free medical treatment from NHS?
No, visitors are usually, not entitled to get any free of charge treatment from HM’s National Health Service (NHS). Therefore, visitors must pay the bill for any medical treatment, which they receive through the NHS during their stay on a visitor visa in the UK. However, in extremely limited circumstances a visitor can get free NHS services in case of a legal exemption.
What are Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements (RHCAs)?
In fact, the UK has Reciprocal Healthcare Agreements (RHCAs) with some countries, which 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. Please note, treatment under RHCAs is provided on the same terms and conditions as that to a local resident and is 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. However, RHCAs do not allow migrants to visit the UK for seeking medical care.
Can organ donors get free medical treatment in the UK?
As stated above, visitors can only access paid medical treatment in the UK. However, the only exception is the medical treatment for an organ donor. Accordingly, the organ donors are required to provide specific and conclusive evidence with their applications that they are a donor match or are already identified as a potential donor to a designated recipient in the United Kingdom.
Does organ donor need to establish relationship with the recipient?
In the UK medical visitor visa application, the organ donor needs to explain the relationship with the recipient. Accordingly, the applicant needs to establish a genetic or close personal relationship with the prospective recipient in the UK.
A genetic relationship means that the donor is a blood relative to the recipient in the United Kingdom. However, a close personal relationship usually means that the donor is the spouse, partner, or close friend of the identified recipient in the UK. However, close relationships do not include relations established through social media such as Facebook.
Is organ donation for money an offence in the UK?
Yes, organ donation for financial consideration is an offence in the UK. Therefore, any 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. Accordingly, 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.
Can an organ donor get reimbursement from the NHS?
Yes, visitors donating organs to patients through NHS treatment can get reimbursement for expenses. However, perhaps only for expense that they have incurred, and which are directly attributable to organ donation. Such expenditures may include travel costs and also the opportunity cost i.e loss of earnings. In fact, NHS usually reimburse such expenses after the medical treatment. Therefore, in the UK medical treatment visitor visa application, an applicant needs to satisfy the funding requirements.
What are care arrangements for the children of an organ donor?
Perhaps, visiting organ donors should not bring their dependant children. However, organ donors can only bring their dependant children if there is no immediate care arrangement for the children is available in the home country. And they have made satisfactory arrangements in the UK for looking after the children. Accordingly, a visiting organ donor needs to make the necessary arrangements, which become altogether more important during hospitalization or recuperation period.
UK Medical Visitor Visa Extension Requirements
- 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 documentary evidence from a registered medical practitioner or NHS consultant in the UK, such as:
- the proof of arrangements for the private medical consultation or treatment in the UK
- a letter elaborating the duration of the medical treatment in the UK
- if the treatment has already started then also the details of the progress of the medical treatment
Proof of Funds
For UK medical visitor visa extension application, an applicant needs to provide the proof of funds. If an 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. Moreover, 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.
Quite clearly, the fee for UK medical visitor visa extension application is £993. However, the Home Office fee is £1,603 with the premium or same day service.
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