Those who are resident in certain countries and applying to enter the UK must hold a valid, negative, Tuberculosis (TB) test certificate. We explore this requirement in more detail.
Those applying to enter the UK must meet a number of requirements, depending on the immigration route they are applying under. One of the most common requirements is a negative TB test.
Who must meet the TB test requirement
The TB test requirement only applies to those who are:
- coming to the UK for more than six months; and
- resident in a listed country.
Visit visa applicants would therefore not normally need to meet this requirement, even if resident in a listed country, as they would be coming to the UK for less than six months. There is a specific requirement for those applying under the fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner to meet this requirement, even though their period of permission is up to six months.
The TB test requirement does not apply to those who:
- have lived for at least six months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK; and
- have been away from that country for no more than six months.
For instance, if you are applying from India (where TB testing is required) but have only resided there for two months, having lived in Saudi Arabia (where TB testing is not required) for the past two years, this requirement does not apply to you.
In addition, the TB test requirement does not apply to those who are:
- a diplomat accredited to the UK; or
- a returning UK resident who has not been away for more than two years; or
- applying under Appendix EU or Appendix EU (Family Permit).
How to meet the TB test requirement
If an applicant must meet the TB test requirement, it is important they attend an approved clinic. Each country’s approved clinics are listed here. A certificate from a clinic which is not on the approved list will not be accepted.
To book an appointment, a fee must be paid and an address of where the applicant intends to stay in the UK must normally be provided (this can be a proposed address if firm plans have not been made). Applicants should normally take with them to the appointment:
- a valid ID document;
- passport sized photos on a white background and standard size 2”x2” (normally two- three pictures are required); and
- medical notes and x-ray results if they have had TB in the past or any other lung disease.
Different centres may also request additional documents, such as evidence of a polio vaccination certificate.
Applicants undergo a chest x-ray. If the results of this are not clear, they may have to give a sputum sample. If the result is negative, a certificate is provided that is valid for six months.
Although all children must still attend an approved clinic, children under 11 will not normally have a chest x-ray and instead will need to complete a health questionnaire. A certificate, in a similar format to adult certificates, is provided.
Pregnant women must still meet this requirement, but can choose one of the following options:
- an x-ray with an extra shield; or
- a sputum test; or
- to wait until after delivery; or
- use an x-ray taken within the last three months at a UK-approved screening clinic, that has been reviewed.
The TB test certificate should be provided with the other supporting documents as part of the immigration application. If the certificate is not provided this can lead to a refusal.
It is advisable for the applicant to keep the certificate with them in their hand luggage when they travel to the UK, although this should not be required in most cases.
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