Are you preparing to study in the UK? If yes, then you must have heard about the importance of certain medical requirements for a UK student visa. It plays an important role for both temporary and permanent residence applications. The UK is one of the most highly developed countries in the world. Their governments have managed to keep several diseases and epidemics at bay through their efficient screening and isolation techniques and also by ensuring good food and nutrition to the citizens. They strive to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Though they have not managed to eradicate TB from the UK, they have successfully brought down the number of cases. The incidence of TB is still high in India. WHO reports that, in 2020, eight countries accounted for two-thirds of the new TB cases. India is one of those countries. This is one of the reasons why the UK conducts medical tests for UK visa applicants from India. The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state healthcare system providing a wide range of services including appointments with a doctor, hospital treatment, and dental care.
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When should you test for TB and enroll your biometrics?
A tuberculosis test is a mandatory medical test for any Indian student going to the UK for more than 6 months. The tuberculosis test results should be included along with your visa application.
Once you complete your visa application online and make the payment, you should book an appointment with the Visa Application Centre to provide your biometric data. Make sure you read and understand the guidelines for visiting the visa application center.
X-ray is the medical test used to test for TB during a UK student visa application. A chest X-ray is taken to test for TB. If the X-ray is not clear enough, you might also be asked to provide sputum samples. If you fail to take the test, you will not be granted a visa. The Embassy accepts medical certificates from one of their approved clinics/hospitals only. You can contact one of the clinics/hospitals near to you to book an appointment. Embassy-approved clinics are available in all major cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Lucknow, etc. You should also mention that you are taking the X-ray for UK visa application purposes.
If Result is Negative
If you test negative for TB, the clinic/hospital will provide you with a medical certificate which you must submit with your visa application form. The certificate will be valid for 6 months. The medical certificate is essential for you when you are in the UK and failing to bring it will delay your entry to the UK.
If Result is Positive
You will have to take a sputum test when the chest x-ray is inconclusive. If you have TB, you won’t receive a certificate but will be advised for treatment and you will be provided with a TB treatment referral letter. Post your treatment you can test again for TB at any of the embassy-approved clinics/hospitals before applying for a UK visa.
Biometrics submission is mandatory for UK student visa approval. Apart from testing for TB, you should enroll your biometric information as part of the visa application process. This includes your photograph and fingerprints. The Embassy will not process your visa application unless you have provided your biometric information. You should book an appointment at one of the visa application centers near you to enroll your biometric information. The procedure requires no extra fee, and the procedure is quick and simple.
Your fingerprints will be scanned by a digital finger scanner – It does not use ink, liquids or chemicals and complies with all relevant UK and international safety standards. All 10 digits will have to be scanned. You won’t be allowed to enroll your fingerprints if you have cuts or damages or if you are wearing a decoration like henna. After the injury has healed or the decoration has faded, you can enroll for biometric information.
While your face is being photographed, you will not be allowed to wear tinted spectacles, sunglasses, hair across the face, and/or eyes or anything that covers your face. But a head covering is allowed for religious or medical reasons.
The biometric information is kept for 10 years from the date when you last scanned your fingerprints and photographed your face. The information will be stored in a database in the UK and held strictly following the UK legislation, including the Data Protection Act 1998. The biometric information provided by the visa applicants may be disclosed to foreign governments, to help them and the UK Border Agency to perform their functions.
Fees for Medical Requirements
Those applying for a student visa and coming to the UK for 6 months or longer will be required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application fee. Students will be required to pay £470 per year for the duration the visa will be granted. If the leave includes part of a year that is 6 months or less, the amount payable for that year will be £235. If the leave includes part of a year that is more than 6 months, the full annual amount of £470 will be payable. Family members applying for a dependent visa will also be required to pay the surcharge. The immigration health surcharge is in addition to the visa application fee. For students applying for entry clearance from overseas, the surcharge will apply to visas granted for more than 6 months. Those applying for further permission to stay in the UK will pay the surcharge regardless of the new visa length.
The immigration health surcharge will entitle students to access the NHS in the UK at no additional cost in the same way as a permanent UK resident. This includes at the Doctor’s surgery (known as General Practitioner or GP), a Healthcare Centre, or in a hospital. You may need to pay for dental and optical treatment as well as medicine prescribed by the doctor and collected from a pharmacy. There are also exceptions for particularly expensive discretionary treatments. If your visa application is not successful, you will automatically be refunded the immigration surcharge (but not the visa application fee). The surcharge will not be partially refunded if you depart the UK earlier than the expiry of your visa. The surcharge is also not refunded if you do not use the NHS during your time in the UK.
Results and Validation
It generally takes 3 weeks to get a decision for your visa application. Medical requirements to study in a UK student visa is important for the visa application and to get the results faster, there is an option to pay and get a faster decision.
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Hopefully, you are now familiar with the different aspects of the medical requirements for a UK student visa. Are you looking for a solution to clear the visa and loan processing requirements? Then, reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu, to get any assistance or guidance for your pre and post-admission process.