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Friday 26 February 2021
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Overseas visitors

Who is an overseas visitor?

An Overseas Visitor is someone who is not “ordinarily”* resident in the UK. This is regardless of whether or not they are a British Citizen, or whether they have lived or worked in the UK in the past.

Hospitals have a legal obligation to find out who is entitled to free NHS treatment. All patients that come to this hospital are asked questions regarding residency and may be asked to provide evidence to show that they have the right to live here or that you live here permanently.


Some patients will be exempt from paying charges ie people visiting from an EEA country with which the UK hold a reciprocal agreement. The Trust Overseas Visitors Team will interview a patient to establish if they are exempt from charges according to the regulations provided by the Department of Health.


* The regulations define an overseas visitor as someone who is not ordinarily resident in the UK but ordinarily resident is not defined, either in the Act or in the regulations. Department of Health guidance to NHS bodies about the regulations says that it is a common law concept, which was the subject of a judgment in the House of Lords in 1982 in the context of the Education Acts, where it was defined as: living lawfully in the United Kingdom voluntarily and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being, whether they have an identifiable purpose for their residence here and whether that purpose has a sufficient degree of continuity to be properly described as “settled”.

Do you want to ask further information on overseas patients?

We release information regarding overseas patients, for more information please visit the FOI website.