03 January 2013

Home Office implements tuberculosis testing for UK visa applicants

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The Home Office has said UK visa applicants from South Africa and Zimbabwe will now be tested for tuberculosis before their arrival in the UK.

UK visa

UK visa applicants from Zimbabwe and South Africa will now be tested for tuberculosis before travelling to the UK.

Then-Immigration Minister Damian Green first announced the new UK visa testing processes in May 2012; South Africa and Zimbabwe have now been added to the list of countries to best tested, with screening becoming mandatory for applicants travelling to the UK for at least six months as of 1, January 2013.

Mr Green said in May 2012 that tuberculosis was 'at its highest level for 30 years' with over 9,000 new cases reported in 2011 - more than 75% of those being reported in people born overseas.

The World Health Organisation has identified 67 countries with high incidence rates of the infectious disease and Mr Green said pre-entry screening will be implemented for all 67 of these countries over the next three years.

Under the new guidelines, all applicants who have submitted their application after 1, January will require an all clear certification from an approved clinic in their home country. Children over the age of 11 must also be tested.

Applicants travelling to the UK for less than six months, such as for business or tourism, from high incidence countries will not be subjected to TB testing.

Details on the test, including approved test centres can be found on the Home Office website here for South African applicants and here for Zimbabwean applicants.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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