TB testing for UK student visa applicants

Indian students applying for a student visa to study abroad in the UK will need to provide a medical certificate clearing them of tuberculosis (TB). Find out more about the requirements for TB testing.

The UK government requires that students from India and a list of other countries visiting the UK for a period of more than 6 months should be tested for tuberculosis (TB). When applying for your visa to study abroad in a program longer than 6 months, you will need to make sure to include your test results for the visa authorities.

Tuberculosis is a highly infectious disease that is borne by bacteria. It is possible to be an inactive carrier of tuberculosis bacteria unknowingly without suffering from the symptoms. India also has the world's most serious TB epidemic with about two to three million people infected by the illness. This makes it essential for Indian students planning on travelling to the UK to prove that they are not carrying the disease.

Where can you get TB testing done?

TB tests in India should be carried out in clinics approved by the Home Office. The UK government immigration rules guide online provides a list of approved clinics nearest to you in India. Approved clinics in India can be found in cities in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, as well as in the cities of Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Guwahati, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi and Pune. The Home Office will not accept TB certificates from clinics that have not been approved by the Home Office and are not on the list. Here is the list of Tuberculosis teat clinics in India for a UK visa.

To get the test done, contact the clinic nearest you and book an appointment. It can take as long as 10 days to get an appointment during busy periods, so prepare accordingly. You should specifically let the clinic know that you need the test for a UK visa application. The health certificate that you will obtain from the clinic will be valid for a period of 6 months after issue. Without this certificate, you will not be able to apply for a student visa.

Note that you do not need a TB Test certificate if you are visiting the UK for an overseas study course of less than 6 months. You also won't need to be tested for TB if you are a returning UK resident and have been away from UK in India for less than 2 years.

The TB testing process

During the TB test, an X-ray of the chest is taken and analysed. Test results take a few days to become available. If no sign of tuberculosis is found, there will be no further tests required. If the clinic finds signs of TB in your X-ray, you will be asked to return for additional tests, which may take around three days.

If you already have a chest X-ray taken within the last 3 months at one of the UK-approved clinics, you do not need to be tested again. You can take the X-ray to the clinic again and ask for the X-ray to be reviewed. Request a certificate to be sent along with your visa application.

If you are diagnosed with TB, you won't be granted a student visa. You will need to be treated for TB, a treatment process which usually takes 6 months. After that period you can retake the test and reapply for a visa.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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