International students

The National Health Service (NHS) is a public funded system which provides health care for residents in the United Kingdom (UK).

Will I have to pay for NHS treatment?
NHS services are free at the point of use for UK nationals. If you are from overseas, you will be required to pay a health surcharge as part of your visa application, which will give you access to the same services as a UK resident. However, there are some services which are free for everyone, including:

  • GP (doctor) services in a GP surgery or health centre
  • Accident and Emergency (A & E) services
  • Family planning (excluding some services such as infertility treatment)
  • Treatment for infectious diseases

Who has to pay?
All Tier 4 visa applications will require you to pay the IHS (Immigration Health Surcharge). If you come to study in the UK on a Standard Visits Visa you should take out private health insurance to cover the cost of any medical treatment you might require in the UK. Without any insurance you will have to pay for NHS services such as hospital care.

How much does it cost?
The surcharge for students and their dependants is £300 per person per year. It is payable in full when you apply for your visa.

Is anyone exempt from the charge?
Anyone applying for a visa to study, work, or join their family for more than 6 months will have to pay. Details of exemptions can be found at:

When do I pay the surcharge?
The Immigration Health Surcharge payment is part of the online visa application process.

Will I also need private medical insurance?
If you have paid for the health surcharge, you will be able to access NHS services in the same way as a UK resident. However, it will not cover certain costs, such as the cost of repatriation, so you will need to take this into account.

What does Brexit Mean for EU Students?

EU students coming to the UK with an EHIC card issued by their home country will only be covered until the end of December 2020. It is therefore recommended that they take out private travel or healthcare insurance to cover them for all healthcare eventualities for the duration of their study. They should seek advice from a provider in their own country.

How do I register for NHS health care?

To access health care you will need to register with a General Practitioner (doctor). Most GPs work in health centres and are qualified to look after anyone, from small babies to the elderly. The University advises students to register with the Victoria Park Health Centre which has expertise in student health. Registration is free, but bear in mind that you can only register with one health centre at any time.

Information about the Victoria Park Health Centre and how to register can be found on their website at: When you register, the Health Centre will ask for your passport and proof of registration with the University.They will register students living locally and in University halls in the City and Oadby. If you live elsewhere, you can find other health centres at

Once you have registered with a health centre, you will be sent an NHS card which is proof that you are entitled to use NHS services. Keep it safe and take it with you when you visit a health centre, dentist, optician or hospital.

What If I have a known health condition?
If you have an existing long term medical condition, it is important that you register with a GP as soon as you arrive at University. They will help you manage your condition, and so minimise any impact it may have on your studies. Please bring an up to date summary from your current doctor which includes details of your condition, recent test results and prescribed medication. The information needs to be in English or be a registered translation. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you bring at least a few weeks' supply to ensure you have enough to last you while you are going through the NHS registration process.

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