Coming to the UK for more
than six months? You may
need a TB test

If you are an overseas national seeking to enter the UK for more than six months, you may be required to have a tuberculosis (TB) test as well as a UK visa. Residents of Russia, Thailand and Pakistan are included on the published list of countries where TB testing at an approved clinic is necessary prior to coming to the UK.

What is involved?

You will be given a chest x-ray to test for TB. If the results of the x-ray are not clear, you may be asked to give a sample of sputum (phlegm coughed up from your lungs).

If the test shows you do not have TB, you will be given a certificate which is valid for six months from the date of your x-ray. You will need to include this certificate with your visa application to stay in the UK.


Children under 11 will not normally need to have an x-ray, although you must take your child to see a clinician who will decide whether they need one or not.

You must go to an approved clinic in your own country (location details are here) and fill in a questionnaire about your child’s health.  If the clinician decides your child does not have TB, they will be issued with a certificate which you must include in your child’s  UK visa application.

Pregnant women

If you are pregnant, you can choose to wait until you have had your baby before you have a TB test. You will be offered an x-ray with an extra shield to protect you and your unborn child from the procedure during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy.

You may also opt for the sputum test, although this may incur an extra fee and could take as long as eight weeks for the result.

If you do not want to be tested, you can use an x-ray taken within the last three months at a UK-approved screening clinic. Ask a clinician at an approved clinic to review your x-ray. If it’s accepted, the clinician will give you a certificate to provide with your UK visa application and no further tests will need to be taken.

Who does not need to be tested?

You will be exempt from a TB test if any of the following apply:

  • you’re a diplomat accredited to the UK
  • you’re a returning UK resident and have not been away for more than two years
  • you lived for at least six months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK, and you’ve been away from that country for no more than six months.

How Smith Stone Walters can help

Smith Stone Walters offers a fully managed entry clearance service to its clients. We ensure each UK visa application is prepared and filed correctly in line with the very latest immigration requirements. As one of our clients recently recounted:

‘This went about as perfectly as I could have imagined.’


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