Tuberculosis tests for visa applicants

Skip to contents of guide

Check if you need a TB test for your visa application

You’ll need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if all of the following are true:

  • you’re coming to the UK for 6 months or more
  • you’ve lived in any of these listed countries for 6 months or more
  • you were living there (or another listed country) within the last 6 months

If you’re coming to the UK for less than 6 months, you’ll still need a TB test if you’re applying for a Returning Resident visa, or a family visa as a fiancé, fiancée or proposed civil partner.

If you’re already in the UK and are applying for or extending a British National (Overseas) visa, you’ll need a TB test if you did not provide a TB certificate when you came to the UK. 

You’ll be given a chest x-ray to test for TB. If the result of the x-ray is not clear you may also be asked to give a sputum sample (phlegm coughed up from your lungs).

If your test shows that you do not have TB, you’ll be given a certificate which is valid for 6 months from the date of your x-ray. Include this certificate with your UK visa application.

Who does not need to be tested

You will not need a TB test if any of the following apply:

  • 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’re coming on a scheme to support people from Ukraine

Children who need a TB test

All children must see a clinician who’ll decide if they need a chest x-ray. Children under 11 will not normally have a chest x-ray.

You must take your child to an approved clinic and complete a health questionnaire. If the clinician decides your child does not have TB they’ll give you a certificate. Include this certificate with your child’s UK visa application.

Pregnant women who need a TB test

You can choose:

  • an x-ray with an extra shield to protect you and your unborn child in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters
  • a sputum test (phlegm coughed up from your lungs) - there may be an extra fee and you could wait up to 8 weeks for results
  • to wait until after delivery