TB Tests for UK Visas Overview

The UK immigration system continues to evolve and become more complex. One of the latest additions to the application process is  the requirement for citizens of specific listed countries to undertake a tuberculosis (TB) test prior to applying for a long term UK visa. These specific countries have been identified based on TB being active within the country. Not only do applicants need to be tested for TB, but the test need to be undertaken by an approved medical clinic. The test typically involves a chest x-ray, but in addition or in limited circumstances, a sputum sample (phlegm coughed up from your lungs) can be provided. On successfully obtaining a negative test result, you’ll be issued with a TB clearance certificate that you’ll need to include as part of your visa application.

Who need to undertake a TB test for a UK Visa?

The criteria for who needs to undertake a TB test is relatively simple:

  • You must be applying for a UK visa of 6 months or longer in duration
  • You live in one of the listed countries
  • You have lived in one of the listed countries in the past 6 months


If you fall into the above criteria, you’ll need to schedule a test with an approved clinic.

Exceptions to TB Test Requirements

There’s very limited criteria for when a TB test would not be required if you’ve resided in a listed country. The only exceptions to the TB testing requirements are:

  • if you’re a diplomat accredited to the UK
  • if you’re a returning UK resident and haven’t been away from the UK for more than 2 years
  • if you’ve lived for at least 6 months in a country where TB screening is not required by the UK, and you’ve been away from that country for not longer than 6 months

These are the only permissible exceptions to the TB test requirements. It’s worth noting there are slightly different criteria for pregnant women and children, which vary slightly from the standard testing requirements.

TB Tests for Pregnant Women and Children

All children must provide a test certificate, however it’s not mandatory for them to undergo a chest x-ray. A child must see a clinician who will assess whether they need a chest x-ray or not. Typically, children under 11 will not have a chest x-ray. Instead they will need to complete a health questionnaire. Once completed, if the clinician decides the child does not have TB, then they’ll issue a TB certificate.

In the case of pregnant women, there’s a few different options they can decided between. These options are as follows:

  • if you’re in the 2nd or 3rd trimester you can have an x-ray with an additional shield, which will protect you and your unborn child from radiation
  • you can provide a sputum test instead (phlegm coughed up from your lungs), although there could be an extra fee payable and you will need to wait up to 8 weeks for the results and the TB certificate
  • choose to wait until after your child is born


Which Countries Residents Need a TB Certificate?

Citizens and residents of the following countries are required to obtain a TB certificate. Countries included on this list are deemed to have active TB within the country:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brunei
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Congo
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Ghana
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Macau
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • São Tomé and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

How long is a test result valid for?

The test certificate will be valid for 6 months from the date of your x-ray.