If you are over 16 years of age and have been accepted on a recognised course to study in the UK, then you will need to apply for a student visa. All the information you need is on the government website www.gov.uk/student-visa. You should also seek advice from the university or other education provider with whom you intend to study. Most institutions supply detailed advice for their overseas students.
Previous arrangements for new students from the EU/EEA no longer apply since Brexit, although there are ongoing benefits for people who were resident in the UK before 2021. Please see the above website for information.
As part of the application for visas that are more than six months long, you will be required to pay a healthcare surcharge. At March 2023, this is £470 per year of your visa. This entitles you to NHS (National Health Service) care and treatment.
Once you arrive in the UK, you should register with a GP (general practitioner). Doing so will allow you to access healthcare services, which is especially important for people with ongoing medical conditions. Registering with a GP is mandatory before any free medical treatment, other than emergency treatment, can be accessed. Further advice is available on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/getting-medical-care-as-a-student/
If you are under the care of an immunologist overseas, discuss your plans to relocate to the UK well in advance of your move. They may be able to liaise with an immunologist in the UK to provide ongoing care. You can also find an immunologist on the British Society for Immunology website: https://www.immunology.org/public-information/find-clinical-immunologist
If you need ongoing care, then you may wish to contact the immunology department that is closest to your place of study. They may request a referral from your GP or from the immunologist who provides your care in your home country.
Once you have received your visa and paid the immigration health surcharge, you should have the same rights as a UK resident and be able to receive immunoglobulin therapy.
Short study periods
If your course is less than six months long or you are required to make several occasional visits to the UK for short study periods, then you are advised to take out private medical insurance. This is because you will be liable for NHS charges for the treatment you receive in the UK except for in a medical emergency, and this is limited. Some countries have a reciprocal agreement with the UK that may entitle you to some free healthcare on the NHS but you should seek advice from the health authorities in your home country about what treatment will be covered.
If you have private medical insurance, before travelling to the UK you will need to contact your insurance company to ensure and obtain proof that the policy will cover your immunoglobulin treatment.
Posted March 2023