Overseas visitors

NHS services are not free for everyone or every treatment. If you’re visiting us from another country and you use our services, you may have to pay for your care.

Remember:

  • you may have to pay for your care even if you’ve previously been a UK resident
  • we are legally required to collect payment before any planned care takes place

If you’re visiting from...

...the European Economic Area (EAA) or Switzerland

Before you travel, double check your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is in your name, and in date. You’ll need to bring your EHIC with you if you come to us for treatment.

Remember, EHIC is not the same as health insurance, and it will not cover every element of your care. You’ll need appropriate insurance, too.

Accessing NHS services as a visitor from the EAA

...outside the European Economic Area (EAA)

Remember, you’ll need the appropriate health insurance if you’re visiting us from outside the EAA.

You may be covered for some treatment if you fall into one of several exemption categories.

Accessing NHS services as a visitor from outside the EAA

Accepted forms of identification

You need to bring evidence with you to show that:

The following documents can be used as proof of identity:

  • current signed passport
  • residence permit issued by UK Border Agency
  • if you’re claiming asylum, an asylum registration card (ARC)
  • EU or Swiss national identity card
  • valid armed forces or police identity card

Proof of address

We also require proof of address. These documents must include your current address and dated within the last six months.

You can use the following as proof of address:

  • an original, recent utility bill (gas, electric, water, or telephone – but not a mobile phone bill)
  • council tax bill (current year)
  • bank, building society, or credit union statement or passbook
  • an original, recent mortgage statement from a recognised lender
  • current council, or housing association rent book or tenancy agreement
  • notification letter from Department for Work and Pensions confirming your right to benefit or state pension

Please note - we may ask you to provide proof you’re exempt from fees at any time, including during your outpatient appointment.

Paying for your care

If you are not eligible for free treatment, you will be charged for any treatment we provide – whether that’s in hospital or in the community.

We are legally required to collect payment before any planned care takes place

If you have to pay for your treatment, our overseas visitor team will make contact with you.

More information

If you have any questions about our fees, or proof of identity requirements, you can email our overseas visitor team.

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