UK immigration to start tuberculosis screening for some UK visa applicants

The UK Home Office have announced that screening will soon be required for immigrants from countries with a high incidence of tuberculosis (TB), before approval is to be given for a UK visa.

These new measures where announced on 21st May 2012 by UK Immigration Minister Damian Green, saying:

“Tuberculosis is currently at its highest level in the UK for 30 years and it’s essential that we take action to tackle its continued rise.” It is claimed, by ministers, that testing applicants prior to their UK arrival will save the country over £40 million over the next 10 years.

Under these new rules, immigrants coming in from 67 different countries with a high TB rate wishing to remain in the UK for more than 6 months will be required to endure pre-screening, followed by treatment, if necessary, respective of their results. The World Health Organisation identified countries with a high TB incidence which included China, India, Morocco, Nepal and South Africa.

Green states that the cost of screening and possible treatment will be paid for by the visa applicants themselves. The scheme will be put into action in three phases over an 18 month period.

“Pre-entry screening, followed by treatment where necessary, will help to prevent the risk of TB in the UK and will also save lives,” says Green. “Removing screening facilities at airports will save the taxpayer £25 million over 10 years and further NHS savings will be made by preventing the importation and spread of TB in the UK.”

According to figures from the Home Office, there was an increase of 5 per cent of TB cases in the UK in 2011. Research from the Home Office shows that those born outside of the UK accounted for three quarters of all new cases of TB diagnosed in the UK.

Commonwealth Contractors

At Commonwealth Contractors we partner with OISC Registered Private Immigration Firms and Tier 2 Licensed Healthcare and IT Consultancies who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor an individual on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). If you are a highly skilled International professional and you would like to work in the UK Commonwealth Contractors can help. Our OISC Registered Partners specialise in Tier 1 General (formerly Highly Skilled Migrant Programme) visa applications and can assist those highly skilled individuals that either wish to apply or extend a Tier 1 General Visa.
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