From August 16, Indians planning to travel to UK for more than six months will be screened for tuberculosis before they are given a visa under a pre-entry TB screening programme extended to India. However, the screening will not be required for those travelling for six months or less.
The Home Office announced that all such applicants would be required to submit a certificate from a local clinic approved by the British Government to show that they are “TB-free’’. There will be a fee of Rs 1500 for screening, to be borne by the applicant.
The Home Office said, “If you want to travel to the UK for more than 6 months you must be screened and obtain a certificate from an approved clinic to show that you are free of TB before you make a UK visa application in the categories listed above. The UK Border Agency has set up a wide network of approved clinicians in India.”
The announcement followed a decision by the UK Government in May to extend its pre-entry TB screening to India and 66 other countries on the basis of the World Health Organisation figures of “high TB incidence” in these countries.
“The screening requirement will be extended to applications for work visas (Tiers 1, 2 and 5 of the points-based system) from 10 September 2012 and student visas (Tier 4) from 1 November 2012”, the Home Office said.