The National Health Service (NHS) provides free hospital treatment for people who live in the United Kingdom only.

If you do not normally live in this country and you do not meet one of the exemptions from charges criteria you will have to pay for any treatment you need. This is regardless of your nationality; whether you hold a British passport; have lived in and paid National Insurance and taxes in the UK in the past; or have been issued with an HC2 certificate.

If you think that you are exempt from charges, our Overseas Visitor Officer will ask you to provide evidence to confirm that you are eligible to have free NHS treatment – we are required by law to do this.

The baseline questions you will be asked are:

  • Do you have a non-UK EHIC/PRC/S2?
  • Where have you lived for the past six months?
  • Do you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK?
  • Do you have a valid visa or leave to enter/remain in the UK?
  • Have you paid the health surcharge or are you exempt or waived from paying it?

To avoid payment, you need to provide evidence that you are either ordinarily resident in the UK or fall within an exemption category.