All long-term visa applicants who wish to enter the UK and who are normally residents in certain countries will need to be screened for tuberculosis (TB). As part of the UK visa application, a negative TB test result is required from a Home Office-approved clinic. In this post, we explain what you need to know about the TB test certificate for UK visa applications including who will need a certificate, who is exempt, TB screening requirements, documents, process, fees and more.
Do I need a TB Test Certificate for my UK Visa Application?
In accordance with the Immigration Rules Appendix T, if you are a resident of any of the countries listed by the UK government and are applying to enter the UK for more than 6 months, then at the time of application you must supply a valid medical certificate confirming that you have undergone screening for active pulmonary tuberculosis and that you are clear of tuberculosis.
The TB test certificate must be submitted along with your supporting documents as part of the visa application. Although the TB test certificate is required in spouse or partner applications where normally leave to enter is granted for 33 months, it may apply to applications for leave to enter as a fiance, even though leave to enter is granted only for a six-month period.
You will need a TB Test Certificate if you have lived in one of the following countries for more than 6 months immediately before your UK immigration application:
- Brunei Darussalam
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Congo Democratic Republic
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- Guinea Bissau
- Hong Kong or Macau
- Marshall Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- Russian Federation
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Timor Leste
For the up-to-date list of countries, please visit https://www.gov.uk/tb-test-visa/countries-where-you-need-a-tb-test-to-enter-the-uk.
TB test exemptions
A TB test certificate will not be required if:
- you’re a diplomat accredited to the UK
- you’re a returning UK resident and have not been away for more than 2 years
- you lived for at least 6 months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK, and you’ve been away from that country for no more than 6 months
It is important to note that pregnant women are not exempt from taking the test. They are given options such as getting an extra-protected x-ray test as explained below.
Where can I take a TB Test for my UK visa application?
You must be tested at a UK government-approved clinic. The UKVI will not accept a tuberculosis test certificate from a clinic that they have not approved and the visa application will be refused. The Home Office has approved clinics in many countries and most countries have several approved TB clinics. However, some countries are on the list and do not have an approved clinic, in which case, the test must be taken in a neighbouring country. For example, applicants from Somalia will have to get tested in Kenya.
What documents do I need for the TB Test?
An applicant will need the following documents for a TB test at an approved clinic:
- A valid passport and one other official document confirming their identity such as a national ID card;
- Two passport-sized photographs;
- Medical records and history (if relevant);
- Details of a previous diagnosis of TB and treatment (if applicable);
- Payment for the clinic fee
The clinic fee varies from country to country and can range anywhere between £20 to £50. The fee covers the consultation, the X-ray, and the certificate. It is possible that additional costs may occur if further tests (such as a sputum test) are required.
What to expect from a TB test at an approved clinic?
Before the screening process can begin, the applicant must complete a consent form provided by the clinic. The doctor may conduct a physical examination (where required) and ask about current and previous illnesses and whether the applicant’s friends or family have had TB.
The second step will involve a chest x-ray which detects changes to the lungs which may indicate lung TB. For the x-ray, the applicant will need to remove their clothes from the top half and will be given a gown to wear. The x-ray procedure usually takes place on the same day and the results should be ready for collection within 24 hours. If the doctor does not suspect TB after the consultation and x-ray, the applicant will be issued a TB test certificate. However, if this is not clear or there are concerns the applicant may be asked to provide a sputum sample.
There are special arrangements for children and pregnant women. All children will need to see a physician who will decide if they need a chest x-ray. Children under 11 will not usually have a chest x-ray.
Pregnant women can choose either an x-ray with an extra shield in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, a sputum test, or wait until they have delivered. If opting for the sputum test there may be an extra fee and it can take up to 8 weeks to receive a result. It may be possible to rely on an x-ray taken within the last 3 months at one of the approved clinics. A clinician at an approved clinic may be able to review this.
How long is a TB certificate valid?
A TB test certificate is only valid for 6 months from the date it is issued, so it is important that the UK visa application is submitted whilst the certificate is valid.
How will testing positive for TB affect my UK visa application?
If there is a test positive for TB, the applicant will be referred for treatment; once the treatment is complete (usually after 6 months) they can be re-screened for an additional fee.
The doctor will report the diagnosis of lung TB to the local, regional or national authorities as per your country’s requirements. The doctor will also have to report the diagnosis to the UK health authorities
Prior to applying for a visa, the applicant will require a valid screening certificate from an approved clinic, confirming that they are free from lung TB. If the applicant is found to no longer have lung TB, the certificate can then be issued and should be included with the visa application.
A previous TB diagnosis will have no effect on the visa process if subsequently the applicant is certified free of TB.
Will my UK visa application be refused if I do not have a TB Test Certificate?
If an applicant submits an application and does not provide the TB certificate where required, then the application should be refused.
Contact our Immigration team
For advice or assistance relating to your immigration application, contact our professional team at +442087575751 or complete our contact form.
Frequently asked questions
Tuberculosis, known as TB, is a bacterial infection that mainly affects the lungs. You can find more information about it here.
Part of the UK visa process is proving that the applicant is free from tuberculosis disease if they are residing in certain countries. For this purpose, the applicant will need to take a TB test from an approved clinic to prove that they are free from TB.
You will need a TB test certificate if you are applying to come to the UK for more than 6 months and are a resident in one of the listed countries. Some visa categories that require the TB test certificate are Skilled Worker, Tier 4 Student Visa, Settlement and Dependent Visas.
The purpose of TB screening is to detect the presence of lung TB and prevent the individual from getting worse and passing on the infection to others.
Only test certificates from a UKVI-approved test centre can be accepted for visa application purposes.
There is no requirement to provide a certificate when making an application from within the UK.
You must take the test at an approved clinic otherwise your visa will be refused. You can book your test through the list of approved clinics here.
Yes. The requirement is based on where you have recently been living rather than on nationality.
No. TB testing is only a requirement for long-term visas of more than 6 months.
You should contact your local approved test centre for advice.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have TB, it means that the chest x-ray was not clear enough for a certificate to be issued. If this happens, it is likely that you will require a sputum test.
This is where a sample of phlegm coughed up from your lungs is taken and tested. The test results usually take up to 12 weeks to be released.
There are no compulsory vaccinations required for a UK visa application. However, the recommended vaccinations can be found here.
If you are intending to travel to the UK with your family, the clinic should be able to organise screening of all family members at the same day
You will need to take the test again and provide a valid certificate at the time of the visa application.
No, you can stay for a maximum of 6 months on each visit so a TB test is not required.
Yes, the partner visa commonly known as a spouse visa is usually granted for 33 months, so if you are residing in one of the listed countries you will need a TB Test Certificate to make a valid application.
The Immigration Rules Appendix T: tuberculosis screening state that, “Any person applying to enter the UK as described in paragraph A39, Part 1 General Provisions of the Immigration Rules, must present at the time of application a valid medical certificate issued by a medical practitioner approved by the Secretary of State …”