Tuberculosis (TB) testing for UK immigration applications
Relocating to the UK can be confusing and time consuming, it is therefore important to ensure that you are getting the right information and that you meet the criteria set out by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) before coming to the UK.
One of the main requirements for people coming to the UK for more than 6 months is that they must undergo TB Testing to confirm that they are free of pulmonary Tuberculosis, this requirement is compulsory if the person wanting to come to the UK is a national and resident or has resided for more 6 months in one of the following countries listed by UKVI, the list can be found by clicking on the link below:
Tuberculosis tests in any of the following countries can only be taken at a UKVI approved clinic, tests taken at any other clinics will not be accepted by the Entry Clearance Officer at the British Post you are applying from. A comprehensive list of TB clinics in each country which are approved by UKVI can be found on the UK Visas and Immigration website.
The Tuberculosis Testing also applies if you are national of one of the countries listed above and you have been resident in a country which is not listed above for less than 6 months, in which case you will need to take a TB test in a neighbouring country listed above.
Exceptions from TB testing are as follows:
• If the person is a diplomat accredited to the UK.
• a returning UK resident and hasn’t been away for more than 2 years.
• a person who has lived for at least 6 months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK, and they’ve been away from that country for no more than 6 months.
As most people will agree the request made by the Home Office to travel to a neighbouring country is unreasonable and also costly, if you are residing in a country which does not require TB testing surely they also have clinics and doctors which are qualified to undergo the testing for TB.
What the Home Office fails to understand is that travelling to a neighbouring country means applying for a visa to be allowed to travel there and paying for flights and a hotel as the tests results are not available on the same day, in which case the migrant is forced to return to their home country which may be thousands of miles away just to take the TB test in order to meet this requirement.
We understand it is important that TB tests are carried out to ensure that people entering the UK are not a health risk but surely there is a logical way around this rather than making people travel all over the world to visit an approved clinic.
A client of ours recently fell victim of this requirement and had to fork out for flights tickets and take unnecessary leave from their current employer only because they could not take a TB test in the EU country they are currently residing in as there is no clinic which have been approved by UKVI in that particular country. They had an accurate test done at a reputed clinic, however this clinic did not bear the stamp of UK Visas and Immigration and was therefore deemed unacceptable.
Not only does this result in costs for our client but it also causes delays with the immigration process and the business incurs losses not having the person join them when they expected them to.
We made several attempts to seek clarity regarding the TB testing for nationals who are from countries which require TB testing but have been resident in a country where TB testing is not a requirement for less than 6 months, however as always we found the responses from the Home Office to be vague and evasive.
Anyone who seeks to apply for entry clearance for the UK should carefully review all the requirements to ensure that they do not face any difficulties later on in the application process, as it is not as straightforward as expected.
Also this week we contacted the Home Office regarding some guidance which was contradictory and to get an understanding of what is correct, the Home Office confirmed one section directly contradicts another and whilst they have had many people contact them to complain, there is nothing they can do about it. It seems that they are publishing document without taking the time to ensure that they make sense and that it is consistent with other information published by them. It seems unfair that employers and their sponsored migrants are being penalised for their inconsistencies.
If you are applying to come to the UK and are unsure as to the requirements or confused by the guidance, please contact one of our London Immigration Lawyers on 020 3318 5794 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to assist and answer any questions you may have.