Overseas TB Testing for UK Visa Applicants

Overseas TB (Tuberculosis) Testing For UK Visa Applicants

On February 08, 2023 | In General | By A Y & J Solicitors Last Updated : December 18, 2023

If you are applying for a UK work, business, study, family, or any other type of visa, depending on the country in which you live, you may need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test. Approved TB clinics are available in many countries around the world, and some new testing locations have recently been added by the UK Home Office. In this article, we will explain the UK Visa TB test requirements, who is required to take this TB test, who is exempt, and the location of the additional TB testing clinics.

What is TB (Tuberculosis) testing?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a type of bacterial infection that is spread through inhaling droplets from the coughs or sneezes of a person with the infection. While TB can be a serious condition, it is normally easily cured with effective and early treatment. TB typically affects the lungs but can also affect the glands, bones and nervous system.

TB screening is carried out to detect the presence of TB in the lungs and prevent the spread of infection to others. For this reason, pre-entry TB screening is mandatory for those coming to the UK for 6 months or more from a country where TB is common. If you are coming to the UK as a tourist, you will not need to have a TB test.

Who needs to have a TB (Tuberculosis) test?

You may need to have a TB test for UK visa if you are planning to stay there for more than 6 months:

  • you have been living in one of the countries listed below, or
  • have been living in one of the countries listed below in the past 6 months but no longer live there.

Afghanistan

Ecuador

Malawi

Senegal

Algeria

Equatorial Guinea (get tested in another country)

Malaysia

Sierra Leone

Angola

Eritrea (get tested in another country)

Mali (get tested in another country)

Solomon Islands (get tested in another country)

Armenia

Ethiopia

Marshall Islands (get tested in another country)

Somalia (get tested in another country)

Azerbaijan

Gabon (get tested in another country)

Mauritania (get tested in another country)

South Africa

Bangladesh

Gambia

Micronesia (get tested in another country)

South Korea

Belarus

Georgia

Moldova

South Sudan (get tested in another country)

Benin (get tested in another country)

Ghana

Mongolia

Sri Lanka

Bhutan

Guatemala

Morocco

Sudan

Bolivia

Guinea (get tested in another country)

Mozambique

Suriname (get tested in another country)

Botswana

Guinea Bissau (get tested in another country)

Myanmar (Burma)

Swaziland (get tested in another country)

Brunei

Guyana

Namibia

Tajikistan

Burkina Faso (get tested in another country)

Haiti

Nepal

Tanzania

Burundi

Hong Kong

Niger (get tested in another country)

Togo (get tested in another country)

Cambodia (get tested in another country)

India

Nigeria

Thailand

Cape Verde (get tested in another country)

Indonesia

North Korea

Turkmenistan

Central African Republic (get tested in another country)

Iraq

Pakistan

Tuvalu (get tested in another country)

Chad (get tested in another country)

Kazakhstan

Palau (get tested in another country)

Uganda

Cameroon

Kenya

Papua New Guinea

Ukraine

China

Kiribati (get tested in another country)

Panama

Uzbekistan

Congo (get tested in another country)

Kyrgyzstan (get tested in another country)

Paraguay

Vanuatu (get tested in another country)

Côte d’Ivoire

Laos

Peru

Vietnam

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Lesotho (get tested in another country)

Philippines

Zambia

Djibouti (get tested in another country)

Liberia (get tested in another country)

Russia

Zimbabwe

Dominican Republic

Macau (get tested in another country)

Rwanda

East Timor (get tested in another country)

Madagascar

São Tomé and Principe (get tested in another country)

Not all countries have approved TB testing centres, hence you may need to get tested in another country.

Who is exempt from needing a TB (Tuberculosis) test?

Not everyone needs a TB test, even if they have been living in one of the above countries. Those who are exempt from this requirement include:

  • Ukraine visa scheme applicants
  • Diplomats who are accredited to the UK
  • Returning UK residents (as long as you have not been away for more than 2 years), and
  • Individuals who have lived for at 6 months or more in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK and who have been away from that country for no more than 6 months.

The rules also state that children under the age of 11 do not normally need to have a TB chest x-ray. Children may instead need to have a health questionnaire completed by an approved clinic.

If you are pregnant, while you are not exempt from having a TB test, you can request:

  • extra shielding when you have your x-ray to protect you and your unborn child in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters
  • a sputum test – this may incur an additional fee on TB test for UK visa fees, and it may take longer for the results to be available
  • to wait until after the delivery of your baby.

The rules also state that pregnant women who do not want to be tested may be able to use an x-ray taken within the last 3 months at a UK-approved screening clinic.

Additional TB testing locations

In recent weeks, the Home Office has updated its guidance on TB testing and added new locations where you can get an approved TB test. The latest guidance published on 30th November 2022 covers countries such as Iran, Japan, UAE, and the USA. While not on the list of TB testing countries, TB testing centres are available in these additional countries for anyone who needs a test. The full list of additional testing locations include:

Can I book an UK TB test online appointment?

Yes, in very limited circumstances, it is possible to book UK TB test online appointment if you are in the UK and you want to check that the results of a TB test you have already had are correct or if you are applying for the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa.

Final words

Before applying for a visa to come to the UK, it is always advisable to check if the TB testing requirement applies to you. Many people who assume that they do not require a test risk having their visa application delayed or refused if they have been in a country for which testing is required.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

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