Paying for UK healthcare as part of a student visa application

As part of the process of applying for a Tier 4 study visa you'll need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge, so that you can access the services provided in the UK by the National Health Service (NHS). You can calculate how much you'll need to pay by using the Home Office Immigration Health Surcharge tool.

You can find out more about the Immigration Health Surcharge from Home Office and from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

If you're coming to the UK on short-term student visa, then you won't be required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge but you will need to ensure that you arrange health insurance for the duration of your UK visit (see the section below).

National Health Service (NHS)

The NHS is the system of public healthcare in the UK. You can find detailed information about how the NHS works from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), including information about Accident and Emergency (A&E), prescriptions and hospital appointments. 

Comprehensive information is also available on the NHS website.

Please note that, even if you are able to use access free NHS services, you will still need to pay for certain services, such as dental treatment, eye tests and prescriptions.

De Montfort Surgery

The Student Health Centre at De Montfort Surgery is located close to the campus and provides healthcare for DMU students and their families. The centre also runs a range of specialist clinics.

Once you've registered onto your course, it's important to register with De Montfort Surgery, so that you can access medical care during your studies, if you need to. Check the surgery website for more detailed information about their services.    

European Economic Area (EEA) nationals

All non-UK European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their family should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before coming to the UK. This card entitles the holder and their family to NHS treatment.

The UK is currently due to leave the European Union; you can find out more about what effect this might have, from the website of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)

Do I need health insurance?

If you are not entitled to free NHS treatment, you should ensure that you have adequate medical insurance to cover medical costs if you fall ill. These might include 

  • Lost fees if you are unable to complete your course,
  • Cost of returning home if a relative is ill,
  • Cost of a relative visiting you in the UK if you fall ill,
  • Cost of returning to your home country for treatment.

Even if you are entitled to free NHS treatment while in the UK, you may want to consider taking out insurance that covers the above additional costs. In some circumstances you might find that you need to access private healthcare, which can be expensive.

If you already have medical insurance in your home country, check whether you can extend it to cover your stay in the UK. You could also look at options available from UK insurers.


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