How to apply for a visitor visa for medical treatment

Overseas nationals might consider visiting the UK to undertake private medical treatment Generally, you can visit for up to 6 months in order to:

  • Have private medical treatment at a hospital or other medical facility.
  • Have treatment at an NHS hospital, as long as the care is paid privately or under a reciprocal healthcare arrangement.


First of all, all visitors will need to meet the eligibility requirements for a Standard Visitor, which state:

  • You’ll leave the UK at the end of your visit.
  • You’re able to support yourself during your trip (or have funding from someone else to support you).
  • You’re able to pay for your return or onward journey (or have funding from someone else to pay for the journey).
  • You’ll not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home.

Secondly, applicants will also need to meet extra requirements if they are visiting the UK for medical reasons and provide specific supporting documents as requested, depending on the different grounds for travel.


Visiting for private medical treatment

You must prove that you:

  • Have a medical condition that needs private consultation or treatment in the UK.
  • Have made arrangements for consultations or treatment.
  • Have enough money or funding to pay for your treatment.
  • Will leave the UK once your treatment is completed, or when your visa expires.
  • Are not a danger to public health if you have an infectious disease, such as leprosy.

Documents you must provide:

You’ll need a letter written by a doctor or consultant that confirms:

  • The condition you have that needs consultation or treatment.
  • The estimated cost and likely duration of any treatment.
  • Where the consultation and treatment will take place.


Visiting for treatment at an NHS hospital

You can visit the UK for treatment at an NHS hospital. Your treatment must be paid for by your own government under a reciprocal healthcare arrangement.

Documents you must provide:

You must provide an authorisation form, issued by the government of your country, stating they will pay for your treatment.


Stay in the UK longer than 6 months

In some cases, medical treatments can be longer than 6 months. Therefore, you can either:

  • Apply for a Standard Visitor visa before you come to the UK – this lasts for up to 11 months and costs £200.
  • Visit for up to 6 months and apply to stay for a further 6 months when you’re in the UK for a fee of £1,000.

Broadly speaking, a visitor cannot stay in the UK for more than 6 months each time, but it might be possible to apply for an extension if warranted by the specific circumstances of the case and supporting evidence. There is no limit on how many times you can extend your stay. However, it costs £1,000 each time per application.

For an 11-month entry clearance application for the purposes of private medical treatment the applicant must also provide either:

(i) evidence from their doctor or consultant in the UK that the proposed treatment is likely to exceed 6 months, but not more than 11 months; or

(ii) if the applicant intends to receive NHS treatment under a reciprocal healthcare arrangement between the UK and another country, an authorisation form issued by the government of that country which clearly states that the proposed treatment is likely to exceed 6 months, but not more than 11 months; and

Moreover, if you are from a listed country, you would need to submit a Tuberculosis (TB) test certificate with the application.


Contact Our Immigration Team

For expert advice regarding any aspect of the UK visa application, please contact our immigration team on 0203 384 3075


The content of this article is for general use and information only. Since each case should be prepared on its own merit and in light of the constant amendments to the Immigration Rules, it is important to note that the information provided must not be relied upon unless Migra & Co has either given written consent or has been officially engaged in relation to a specific immigration matter. As a result, Migra & Co will take no responsibility for any damage, cost or loss resulting from relying on the information contained in this article, blog and website.