Tuberculosis tests for visa applicants

Overview

You’ll need to have a tuberculosis (TB) test if you’re coming to the UK for more than 6 months and are resident in any of these listed countries.

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 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

Children

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

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

If you do not want to be tested you can use an x-ray taken within the last 3 months at a UK-approved screening clinic. Ask a clinician at an approved clinic to review your x-ray. If it’s accepted the clinician will give you a certificate to provide with your UK visa application.

  1. Step 1 Check if you need a visa

    You might be eligible for different visas depending on why you're visiting the UK and how long for.

    1. Check if you need a visa
    2. Compare the different types of short stay visa
  2. Step 2 Prepare the evidence you need

  3. Step 3 Apply

    The cost of your visa depends on how long it's valid for.

    1. Apply for a visa and book an appointment £97 to £186
    2. Check if you'll need a biometric residence permit
    3. Check where your visa appointment will be

    You should get a decision within 3 weeks of your appointment.

    You might be able to pay an extra £212 for a decision within 5 working days or £956 for a decision within 1 working day. Check with your visa application centre.

  4. Step 4 Attend an appointment

    1. What you need to prove at your appointment

    You'll be told when a decision has been made about your visa.

  5. Step 5 Travel to the UK

    1. Check what you need to show at the UK border
    2. Check what you can bring with you

    Keep the documents that prove why you're visiting the UK in your hand luggage so you can show them if asked.

    1. Check the documents you can use to show why you're visiting the UK
  6. Step 6 After you arrive in the UK

    If your visa allows you to stay in the UK for longer than 6 months, you'll need to collect your biometric residence permit soon after you arrive.

    1. Collect your biometric residence permit

    Check your visa to find out when you must leave the UK. If you break the conditions of your visa you may not be able to return to the UK again.