Foreign travellers entering the UK from countries with high incidence of tuberculosis (TB) will have to go through a screening for the disease before being granted a visa, the UK Border Agency said this week.
The new visa condition was announced by Immigration Minister Damian Green who said the scheme for migrants and UK tourists coming from countries including China, India, Morocco, Nepal, Philippines and South Africa, will help save lives and will also save more than £40 million over ten years.
TB is at its highest level in the UK for more than 30 years, with 9,000 new cases last year alone, up five per cent from 2010.
Under the new visa rules, which will be brought in in three stages over 18 months, infectious TB sufferers and those diagnosed with active TB will be denied entry to the UK.
The pre-entry screening will replace screening at UK airports after a pilot scheme in 15 countries found 300 active cases among 400,000 migrants.
Mr Green said: ‘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.
‘Pre-entry screening, followed by treatment where necessary, will help to prevent the risk of TB in the UK and will also save lives.’
He added: ‘Removing screening facilities at airports will save the taxpayer £25 million over ten years and further NHS savings will be made by preventing the importation and spread of TB in the UK.’
The news comes only days after a review into the care of a Birmingham teen who died from TB last year. 15-year-old Alina Sarag died after doctors dismissed her TB as ‘lovesickness’.
She died from cardiac arrest in January 2011 after visiting her GP and four hospitals. Despite having been treated for tuberculosis in the past her doctor would not test for it.
TB kills 1.8 million people worldwide each year.
All migrants and travellers coming to the UK for more than six months from 67 countries identified as having a high incidence of TB by the World Health Organisation will need to be screened for the airborne infection before being granted a visa. Click here for a full list of countries with high incidence.
The costs of screening and subsequent treatment will be met by those people applying to come into the UK, the Home Office said. Source: Daily Mail.
The UK Border Agency will build on existing pre-screening undertaken by international partners including the USA, Canada and Australia. The costs of screening and subsequent treatment will be met by those people applying to come into the UK.
Earlier this week the UK Border Agency announced that a clause in the Crime and Courts Bill will take away the full right of appeal for those applying to enter the UK as a family visitor. UK family visitors who are refused a visa will only be able to appeal on limited grounds of human rights or race discrimination.
If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR, UK Naturalisation, Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:
Coming to study in the UK?
Study Planners in partnership with UK Work Study makes your move to the UK easy.
CLICK HERE for more information