UK Private Medical Treatment Visit Visa Application Guide
The Private Medical Treatment Visa is for individuals who wish to receive private medical treatment, act as an organ donor or be assessed as a potential organ donor to an identified recipient in the UK. In this article we look at the requirements for a Private Medical Treatment Visa and answer a number of frequently asked questions such as: When can a visitor receive private medical treatment in the UK? How long is a Private Medical Treatment Visa valid for? And, can a Private Medical Treatment Visa holder be accompanied to the UK?
What Are the Requirements for a Private Medical Treatment Visa?
In order to qualify for a Private Medical Treatment and Organ Donation Visit Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:
- You are a visa national (a non-visa national can normally seek entry as a Visitor on arrival at the UK border);
- You are genuinely seeking entry to the UK for a purpose that is permitted by the visitor routes, in this case for medical treatment or organ donation;
- You will not undertake any prohibited activities;
- You have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to your visit (including travel, maintenance and accommodation costs) without working or accessing public funds;
- You will leave the UK at the end of your visit;
- You will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home;
- Your application does not fall for refusal under the general grounds for refusal.
Can a Visitor Seek Private Medical Treatment in the UK?
There is nothing to prevent a visitor from undertaking private medical treatment once in the UK as a visitor. However, if the main reason for visiting the UK is for medical treatment, then you will need to make an application for a Private Medical Treatment Visa and obtain entry clearance on this basis accordingly.
Any medical treatment will need to be arranged prior to your travel to the UK.
If you wish to come to the UK for private medical treatment you will need to provide a letter from your doctor or consultant in the UK detailing the following information:
- the medical condition requiring consultation or treatment;
- the costs likely to be incurred;
- the likely duration of any treatment; and
- where the consultation or treatment will take place.
If the medical treatment is to be provided by the NHS under a reciprocal health arrangement, you will need to provide evidence from the government of that country.
It is important to note, in considering whether to make an application for a Private Medical Treatment Visa, that the length of treatment must be finite.
What Length of Private Medical Treatment Visa Can I Apply for?
The majority of visitors seeking private medical treatment would be expected to stay as a Private Medical Treatment Visa holder for 6 months or less. A longer period of 11 months may be acceptable if evidence is provided from a doctor or consultant.
If you apply for a Private Medical Treatment visa for the UK for 11-months then you may need to consider if a TB certificate is required.
Will a Private Medical Treatment Visa Application Require a Referral to a Medical Officer?
If you have a communicable disease then as part of your Private Medical Treatment Visa application you must be referred to a medical officer, where available, to check you are not a danger to public health.
Can Private Medical Treatment Visa Patients Be Accompanied by an Escort?
Individuals accompanying a visitor who is receiving medical treatment in the UK as a Private Medical Treatment Visitor must apply as a visitor and meet the rules in Appendix V of the Immigration Rules. Unfortunately, there is no provision to allow those accompanying a visitor receiving medical treatment to apply under the rules to extend their stay for longer than 6 months.
The Private Medical Treatment Visa casework guidance does allow for considerations outside of the rules:
If the person escorting the visitor receiving private medical treatment wants to stay in the UK for more than 6 months, you should consider whether there are any compelling, compassionate, or exceptional circumstance that would warrant a grant of leave outside of the rules and refer the case to the Referred Casework Unit (RCU).
Organ Donor Visa Applications
The guidance confirms that these are considered complex applications due to the additional requirements and the need for detailed checks and applicant specific attributes.
The rules relating to organ donors are set out in paragraphs V 8.1 to V 8.4 of Appendix V: Visitor. If you are applying to enter the UK as an organ donor then you must provide specified evidence. You will need to satisfy the Home Office that you are genuinely intending to donate an organ or to be assessed as a potential organ donor for an identified recipient in the UK. You will need to show that you have a ‘genetic or personal relationship’ with that person. You will need to prove you are a donor match or have been identified as a potential donor to an identified recipient in the UK. Finally you will need to demonstrate that the recipient is lawfully in the UK.
The guidance defines a ‘genetic or personal relationship’ as follows:
Genetic relationships would be where the donor is a blood relative to the identified recipient in the UK. Close personal relationships would typically include the visitor’s spouse, partner, or close friends. It would not extend to relations established via social media campaigns.
Secondary Applications From Organ Donors
If you apply for a visit visa as an organ donor, your application must be referred to the Referred Casework Unit (RCU) for consideration outside the rules. You must provide the relevant medical letter. The letter will need to detail the arrangements and specify whether this is a pooled or paired donation. The decision maker will assess the application against the general visitor requirements and the additional organ donor requirements, except for the requirement to have genetic or a pre-existing emotional relationship with the direct recipient.
Can I Apply To Enter the UK for the Purpose of Surrogacy?
This can only be considered outside of the Immigration Rules. The casework guidance reads as follows:
There is no provision in the rules for a woman to be allowed into the UK for the purpose of being a surrogate mother. Admission for private medical treatment is not appropriate since the applicant would not be suffering from any medical condition.
If an application is made on this basis, the guidance states it should be refused by the guidance states: ‘Where there are exceptional circumstances, you should refer the case to Referred Casework Unit (RCU).’
How Do I Demonstrate I Am a Genuine Private Medical Treatment Visitor?
You will need to satisfy the decision maker you are genuinely seeking to enter the UK for a permitted purpose and that you will leave the UK at the end of your visit and will not live in the UK for extended periods through frequent or successive visits, or make the UK your main home. The decision maker will consider various factors including your immigration history, your personal circumstances including financial, social and family and your ties to the country where you ordinarily reside.
How Do I Satisfy the Maintenance Requirement for a Private Medical Treatment Visa?
Evidence and considerations can be found in our earlier article. If a visit will last more than 6 months, but not more than 11 months you will still need to show you have enough funds for the entire period. In addition you will need to consider how you will evidence meeting the cost of any treatment.
Do I Need to Satisfy an English Language Requirement for a Private Medical Treatment Visa?
UK Private Medical Treatment Visa applicants do not need to satisfy an English language requirement.
Can Private Medical Treatment Visa Holders Work or Claim Public Funds?
The position for Private Medical Treatment Visa holders is the same as examined in our earlier article which addresses permitted activities.
It is important to note that as a visitor you are not eligible for free treatment on the National Health Service (NHS), unless an exemption applies in law. Any treatment may therefore attract charges and debt may have implications for future applications. You can read more: here.
As above, the UK has reciprocal healthcare agreements (RHCAs) with a number of countries and this could cover treatment that arises during a period of stay.
What is the Application Fee for a Private Medical Treatment Visit Visa or Organ Donation Application?
At the time of writing and from 6 April 2022 the fees for a Private Medical Treatment and Organ Donation Visit Visa are £100 for a stay of up to 6 months and £200 for a stay of more than 6 months but no more than 11 months.
What If My Private Medical Treatment Visa Application is Refused?
If your Visit Visa application is refused, there is no right to administrative review or appeal, unless in exceptional and limited circumstances where a human rights claim has been made and refused. You may consider whether to challenge the decision by way of judicial review. Further considerations are set out here.
Contact our Immigration Barristers
For expert advice and assistance with an application for a Private Medical Treatment Visit Visa contact our Immigration Barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.