Overseas visitors

The NHS provides healthcare for people who live in the United Kingdom. People who do not normally live in this country are not automatically entitled to use the NHS free of charge, regardless of their nationality or whether they have paid tax and national insurance contributions.

Eligibility for free NHS treatment is based on legal residency, not on contribution.

The Overseas Visitors Charging Regulations place a legal obligation on hospital trusts to establish whether a person is an overseas visitor to whom charges apply, or whether they are exempt from charges. The Department of Health and Social Care state that the onus is on the patient to provide the requested evidence.

The Overseas Visitors Team here at Royal Surrey are responsible for implementation of the Hospital Charging Regulations in accordance with the Trust’s legal obligations.

We are mindful that further changes are expected as a result of Brexit. We will be updating this page as soon as further information and guidance becomes available.