I’m a Foreign National do I Pay for NHS Healthcare?

Immigration lawyers would agree that this is a question posed quite often by most non-EEA national clients.   The common misconception is that lack of access to public funds means that the person cannot access NHS healthcare either. This is not so.

The Department for Health has its own rules for deciding who gets free NHS treatment. The test is about whether the person is ordinarily resident in the UK. The term ‘ordinary residence’ has been described by the government as “living lawfully in the UK for settled purposes, as part of a person’s regular order of life. A person’s identifiable purpose and whether that purpose has a sufficient degree of continuity to be properly described as settled are the determining factors.”

There are a number of factors that are taken into account when determining ordinary residence. A person’s legal entitlement to stay here is one factor, but not conclusive unless it is permanent residence. The Department for Health has a very useful, but lengthy, tool guide on the subject, designed to assist medical professionals on the topic.

Read more: McGill&Co,

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