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UK pre-entry TB screening introduced for Malawi

Pre-entry Tuberculosis screening for all individuals applying in Malawi for long-term UK visas from 1 July 2013

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The UK Home Office has today announced the arrangements for the introduction of pre-entry tuberculosis (TB) screening in Malawi starting on 1 July 2013.

This follows the UK Government’s announcement in May 2012 that it would be extending this requirement to an additional 67 countries, including Malawi, based on the figures for high TB incidence provided by the World Health Organisation.

This brings the UK into line with the practice of a number of other countries including the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Further details can be found in the news article published on the Home Office’s UK visa website for Malawi.

Pre-entry TB screening is not required for those going to the UK as a tourist or other type of visitor, except for those applying for a fiancé(e) visa. It will be required for all individuals in Malawi who are applying for a UK visa which is longer than six months including those applying for a Tier 4 student visa.

The process will require individuals to be screened and obtain a certificate from an approved International Organisation for Migration (IOM) health centre in Malawi to show that they are free of TB before they make a UK visa application. They will need to include the TB certificate with their visa application.

The requirement for pre-entry TB screening will begin from 1 July 2013. Applicants who require pre-entry TB screening should contact:

Partners In Hope Hospital M1 Blantyre Road Area 36 Lilongwe


A US$113 fee is payable. The fee will be payable in US dollars. No appointments will be available until 1 July 2013.

Kirk Hollingsworth Deputy High Commissioner


  1. On 21 May 2012, the UK government announced plans to extend pre-entry TB screening to a further 67 countries, including Malawi. Further background is contained in our press release.

  2. Further information about requirements for pre-entry TB screening in Malawi, including the IOM Health Centres, and frequently asked questions, is available on the Home Office’s UK visa website for Malawi.

Frequently Asked Questions by Customers

Q1: Why is pre-entry TB screening required for UK visa applications in Malawi?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious airborne infection which constitutes a global public health issue. In May 2012 the UK government announced plans to extend pre-entry TB testing to a further 67 countries, including Malawi, which have a high incidence of TB according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Pre-entry testing is more thorough, and therefore more effective in allowing earlier detection and treatment of TB. It also allows those migrants coming from Malawi to take the test at their convenience, and removing on-entry screening for migrants on arrival reduces congestion and delays at UK airports.

Q2: Who needs to be tested for TB?

If you are in Malawi and travelling to the UK for a period of longer than 6 months, you need to undergo TB screening in Malawi. This includes all Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 visa applicants and all settlement visa applicants.

Business and other short stay visitors – including tourists, people visiting their families and overseas domestic helpers – do not require pre-entry TB screening. This includes people applying for 2, 5 and 10 year visitor visas, because the maximum stay in the UK at any one time is still 6 months. With the exception of those applying for a 6 month fiancé(e) visa, as applicants in this category must demonstrate their intention to remain in the UK for longer than six months.

Q3: When will the pre-entry screening be introduced in Malawi?

From 1 July 2013.

Q4: Where do I get tested?

You must be screened at a clinic approved by the Home Office. A list of approved clinics is published on the TB testing page of the Home Office’s UK visas Malawi website.

The Home Office will not accept a certificate resulting from screening conducted by a clinician who is not on the approved list. You may not use your own doctor, unless he or she is listed on the above website.

Q5: How did the Home Office select the list of approved clinics?

The Home Office has worked closely with the International Organization for Migration (IOM to identify clinics in Malawi.

Q6: How do I make an appointment to be tested?

You should contact the International Organization for Migration (IOM) by email. You can expect to obtain an appointment within a few days during the off peak period for visa application from October-July. However, applicants should allow up to 10 days in busy periods in particular during the UK student peak season in Malawi between July and September.

The Home Office cannot intervene to bring forward an appointment for you. It is therefore important that you allow sufficient time for the screening process before you apply for your visa and before you make firm travel plans.

If you would like an appointment with a female clinician, please ask the International Organization for Migration when you schedule your appointment.

Q7: What do I need to take to my appointment?

You should take your passport as proof of identity, two recent passport sized photos with your TB testing fee and any relevant medical records.

If you have had TB in the past, but are now clear, you should provide details of your previous screening and, if possible, your x-ray results. Staff at the International Organization for Migration will be able to provide you with full details when you make your appointment.

Q8: What is the fee for TB screening?

The fee for TB screening in Malawi will be US$113 per applicant. The fee will be payable in US dollars. This fee is met by the person wishing to travel to the UK. It covers all diagnostic requirements. It does not cover treatment if TB is detected. The fee is not refundable in the event that the person is tested positive for TB or decides not travel to the UK, or their visa is subsequently refused.

Q9: What does the test involve?

The clinic will explain the process to you and you will be asked to sign a consent form before screening. You will then be given a chest x-ray. You should allow 24 hours for the whole process, which includes administration, taking the x-ray, analysis of the test results and receiving your TB Certificate.

You may need to remove your clothes from your top half for the x-ray. You will be given a gown.

If the x-ray is inconclusive, you may be asked to give a sputum sample. Sputum is the substance you bring up from your lungs when you cough.

Q10: I am pregnant, do I still need to be tested and is it safe?

Yes. You will be given the option of having an x-ray test with an extra protective shield that will protect both you and your unborn child, or a sputum test (phlegm coughed up from your lungs). Results from a sputum test will take up to 8 weeks to process.

Please speak to the healthcare professional at the clinic if you have any doubts or questions.

Q11: Will my children have to be tested?

If your child is aged 11 years and over they must be tested. If you are a parent or guardian of a child under 11 years of age you need to bring them to the approved clinic and complete a health questionnaire for them. The clinician will then decide whether they need to be screened. If the clinician decides not to screen your child, a certificate will be provided to state that your child was not tested. This certificate must be submitted with your child’s UK visa application.

Q12. What will the cost be for children under 11?

Children under 11 years old who do not require screening will have to pay 45 US Dollars per person as an interview fee. The fee will be payable in US dollars. Those children who the clinician decides will need screening will be charged the same fee as adults.

Q13: How long does it take to get the results?

If you only require an examination and x-ray the process can be completed in 24 hours.

Q14: How long is my test certificate valid for?

A TB Certificate is valid for 6 months from the date that it is issued by a clinician. You will therefore need to complete an online Visa Application Form and pay the visa application fee online before the certificate expires.

Q15: If I pay for my visa application online before 1 July 2013 will I need to submit a TB Certificate when I make my application?

No. If you complete an online Visa Application Form and submit your visa application before 1 July 2013 you will not need to undergo TB testing. This is provided you complete your application by enrolling your biometrics, paying the visa fee and submitting your documents at our UK Visa Application Centre in Lilongwe.

Q16: I have had treatment for TB following a positive result. Will I need to take the test again?

Yes. The Home Office will need to see a valid test certificate from an approved clinic confirming that you are free from infectious TB. You should also provide details of your previous screening, your x-ray if possible and information on your treatment and recovery.

Q17: What if I do not agree with the test results?

The consent form states that the clinician’s decision is final.

Q18: Can I send my test certificate on to you after I have submitted my visa application?

No. You will need to submit your test certificate with your visa application.

Published 28 June 2013