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Health Care for Overseas Students

Testing for coronavirus

From 1 May 2022 the Scottish Government updated their guidance on Testing for Coronavirus, most people no longer need to take a coronavirus test and should follow guidance on staying at home if unwell. Testing remains available to specific groups in order to protect highest risk settings and support clinical care. For more information please visit the NHS Inform Covid-19 Webpage. 

Healthcare in Scotland

In Scotland, most health care is provided by the National Health Service (NHS).

I am an overseas student, can I get health care from the NHS in Scotland?

If you are coming to Scotland to study on a full-time course, you can get healthcare from the NHS from the beginning of your stay.

If you are an international student (excluding Australia and New Zealand) you may have already paid the immigration health surcharge as part of the visa process. For more information please see:

Immigration Health Surcharge

You may also get health care from the NHS if you are a part-time student and working in Scotland.

Families of overseas students

If you are registered as an NHS patient your partner and children might also qualify for health care. If you have children they must be aged under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education.

Staff at the GP surgery will ask you to fill in a form to register your family. You may need to show a marriage or civil partnership certificate, and birth certificates for your children to complete the registration process.

Family from the EEA or Switzerland

If you have other members of family from the EEA or Switzerland they can also get health care from the NHS. To do so they must have an EHIC and register with a GP.

Family not from the EEA or Switzerland

If you have other members of family not from the EEA or Switzerland they may be entitled to healthcare if they have been allowed to join you in Scotland. To do so, an EEA family permit is issued overseas to nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are family members of EEA nationals.

For more information contact:

UKCISA - UK Council for International Student Affairs

UKCISA website or telephone: 020 7107 9922

NHS Inform website or telephone: 0800 22 44 88

The UKCISA provides an advice line for overseas students on 020 3131 3576

The advide line is open Monday - Friday 1pm - 4pm

Back to General Health Support