TB Tests for UK Visa Applicants

Nationals of some countries need to get a Tuberculosis (TB) test if they are applying for a UK visa for longer than six months.

Below is some brief guidance from Breytenbachs on whether you need to take a TB test for your UK visa application. We do, however, recommend that you always confirm with your Breytenbachs consultant for advice in your unique circumstances.

Who needs to take a TB test for a UK Visa Application?

A person needs to have a tuberculosis test for their UK Visa application if the following circumstances apply to them:

  • You are coming to the UK for six months or longer, and
  • You have lived in any one of the countries listed by the UK Home Office –  You can find the link to all the listed countries here, and
  • You have lived in any one of the listed countries within the last six months.

Where can I take a TB test?

It is very important to note that the clinic you attend is approved by the Home Office. You can find a list of approved clinics in the different countries here.

Unfortunately, some countries do not have approved test centres, and you will need to get tested in another country.

It is important to take note that you must get a TB test certificate from an approved test centre. You cannot get your TB test done from a local clinic or GP. The Home Office will only accept TB test certificates from approved test centres.

You must book and pay for your appointment beforehand. The test centres do not accept walk-in appointments. We advise that you make it clear when booking the test that you require the TB test for a UK visa application.

Exceptions to the Six-month Rule for TB testing

Normally, a person only needs to take a TB test if they are coming to the UK for less than six months.  However, you will also need to take a TB test if you apply for the Returning Resident visa or a family visa as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner.

What does the TB test entail?

The TB test is in the form of a chest X-ray. Should the result of the X-ray not be clear, they may ask you to give a phlegm sample.

If your TB test shows that you do not have tuberculosis, you will receive a certificate to the effect. This certificate is valid for six months from the date of your TB test. You must include the certificate with your UK visa application.

If you test positive for Tuberculosis, you will not be able to apply for a UK visa until you can show you are TB-free and have a certificate to prove this.

Do children need to take a TB test?

All children must see a clinician at an approved clinic who will decide whether they need to take an X-ray test or not. Normally, children under 11 years of age do not need to take a chest X-ray.

At the clinic, you will complete a health questionnaire. The clinician will then decide whether your child is TB-free and give you a certificate to this effect.

Pregnant women and TB tests

Pregnant women have a choice whether they want a sputum (phlegm) test or have an x-ray with an extra shield to protect the mother and unborn child. Alternatively, they can wait to take the test till after delivery.

Who is exempt from the TB test for UK Visa Applications?

Some persons are exempt from the TB test. This includes:

  • Diplomats who are accredited to the UK; or
  • Returning residents who have not been away for more than two years.

How Breytenbachs can help you with your TB Test

If you need more information on TB tests for UK Visa applications, we strongly recommend that you speak to your Breytenbachs consultant. We will be happy to assist.

Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes without giving any warranty of any kind.

Please contact us today for further information or applications.

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