Can My Non-British Child Use The NHS?

Can My Non-British Child Use The NHS?

Many immigrants or would-be immigrants have a long list of concerns when considering moving to the UK or indeed any other country. One of the main ones is their own and their dependents right to access healthcare. Britain has a national healthcare system and in this article, we cover your rights for using it.

In this article, we look at the rights of those coming to the UK to use Britain’s NHS and in this instance how it specifically applies to child dependents.

Do I need to buy medical insurance in the UK for me or my dependents?


No, you can opt to buy private medical insurance but it is certainly not a necessity. The private system operates completely separately and as you will need to pay in advance for your National Health Service (NHS) care, you do not need to buy private medical insurance.


If you choose to go down the private medical care route you will still need to pay upfront for NHS care. This charge cannot be avoided and is taken at the time of making an immigration application and we look at this in further detail further down the article.


Do I need to pay to access NHS care for my child in the UK on a Dependent Visa?


Not at the point of use, you will not, but you will be expected to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge – this charge is applied to the vast majority of immigrants to the UK and allows them to access free at the point of use healthcare all over the UK.


This includes General Practitioner (GP) care and hospital use including operations and emergency care.


How much is the Immigration Health Surcharge?


The Immigration Health Surcharge is the same for all applicants whether an adult or a child – £200 per applicant per year of stay that is on your visa. For instance, if you were going to be in the UK for 3 years you would need to pay 3 * £200 = £600 per applicant.


When do I pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?


The surcharge is payable at the time of application and must be paid in full. This allows you to access healthcare as soon as you enter the country. The cost does seem prohibitive to start with but taking into account the potential cost of medical care it is indeed excellent value for money.


Does the Immigration Health Surcharge cover all health problems?


The surcharge does not cover dental and optical care on the NHS – that being said, for your child, optical and dental care is free. Only adults will need to pay separately for dental and optical care, these are subsidised by the NHS but are not free.


How we can help


If you need to discuss a visa issue then please get in touch. Our immigration specialists are experts at all issues concerning immigration and can help with everything from applications to appeals.