Healthcare and your immigration status

Find out what your healthcare entitlements are. Whether you’re an EU student resident in the UK or an international student, check what healthcare services you can access for free and what you’ll need to pay for.

Treatment that’s free for everyone

  • Accident and emergency services (but not follow-up treatment, or admission as an in-patient to hospital).

  • Family planning services.

  • Diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

  • Services for treating a physical or mental condition caused by violence.

  • Services that are provided as part of the NHS 111 telephone advice line.

More information on the NHS website.

EU and international students resident in the UK

The UK healthcare provision is residence-based. If you’re a European or international student who’s obtained indefinite leave to remain, you can access all primary and secondary care for free in the UK.

This means all initial doctor consultations and any emergency services provided after being admitted as an inpatient, or at a follow-up outpatient appointment.

International students – visa for less than 6 months

All international students, including EU students:

  • You’ll be able to access some medical services for free

  • You’ll need to pay for all medications bought in the UK.

  • Buy health insurance before you travel to cover you for using medical services while you're in the UK.
    If clinicians consider your treatment to be non-urgent, you’ll be asked to pay for any cost of treatment in advance. In an urgent situation where treatment is considered urgent, you will be given all the necessary treatment and you’ll be billed the costs.

  • If you’re a student from the EU, you can still use a valid EHIC to access healthcare if you get ill or have a medical emergency during your temporary stay.

  • Norwegian citizens residing in Norway can access medically necessary healthcare when visiting the UK, using a valid Norwegian passport.

International students – visa for more than 6 months

  • If you’re staying in the UK for longer than 6 months, you’re required to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of your visa application (and any other application for any dependants coming to the UK with you). The Immigration Health Surcharge fee will entitle you (and your dependants) to free health services under the NHS. 

  • If you paid the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and you’re a student from the EU or Switzerland with a valid EHIC card, you can apply for a refund (‘reimbursement’) of your IHS provided you don’t do any paid work whilst in the UK.

  • This does not include dental care or non-necessary treatment.

  • You may need to buy health insurance to cover any treatment which is not covered by the NHS, or for private, non-emergency medical treatment.