Tuberculosis testing in the Philippines
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This page explains whether you need to be tested for (TB) if you want to come to the UK from the Philippines. It also explains how you will be tested, and what to do if you test positive for TB.
Who needs to be tested?
From 28 February 2013, if you are resident in the Philippines and would like to apply for a visa to come to the UK for more than 6 months you must be tested at an approved clinic and be free from tuberculosis before you apply for a visa. You will be required to submit a TB certificate with your visa application.
Applicants who complete an online visa application form and pay the online visa application fee before 28 February 2013 will not need to take a tuberculosis test. Online applications submitted and paid for after this date will be subject to tuberculosis testing requirements.
If you are coming to the UK for less than 6 months you do not need to be tested for tuberculosis. This includes people applying for 2, 5 and 10 year visitor visas, because the maximum stay in the UK at any one time is still 6 months.
All children over 11 years old must be tested for tuberculosis.
If you are a parent or guardian of children under 11 years old you must bring your children to an approved clinic and complete a health questionnaire for them. The clinician will then decide, based on your answers, whether your child needs to be tested for tuberculosis. If the clinician decides not to test your child they will give you a certificate to say your child was not tested. This certificate must be submitted with your child's UK visa application.
All children under 16 years who are attending a clinic, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and bring the items listed in the 'Attending the clinic' section below.
Approved test clinics
You must be tested at the clinic listed below which has been approved by the UK Border Agency. We will not accept a tuberculosis test certificate from a clinic we have not approved.
International Organisation for Migration Health Centre,
15th Floor, Units A&B Trafalgar Plaza,
105 H.V. dela Costa Street,
Salcedo Village, Makati City 1227,
Tel: (632) 883-9339 or (632) 511-8771
Mob: (917) 593-4688 (globe operator) or (917) 993-4667 (smart operator)
Fax: (632) 883-9377
Attending the clinic
You should contact the approved clinic to book an appointment. You should make it clear you need the test for a UK visa application. You can expect to get an appointment within a few days of your request. At busy times you may have to wait 10 days for an appointment especially during the UK student visa peak season between July-October. We cannot arrange or prioritise appointments for you.
What you should bring with you:
- proof of identification, which contains your photograph, such as your passport;
- tuberculosis test fee; and
- if you have had tuberculosis in the past or have any other lung disease you should provide details of your previous screening and, if possible, your medical notes and x-ray results.
If you would like an appointment with a female clinician, please ask the clinic when you schedule your appointment.
If you need to cancel your appointment you should contact the clinic and refer to their cancellation policy and procedure.
What does the test involve?
You will be given a chest x-ray. You may need to remove your clothes from your top half for the x-ray. You will be given a gown to protect your modesty.
How long does the test take?
You should allow 30-60 minutes for the whole process, which includes administration, taking the x-ray and analysis of the test results.
If the x-ray is inconclusive, you may be asked to give a sputum sample (phlegm coughed up from you lungs). There may be an additional fee for a sputum test and results can take up to 2 months to process.
The fee for tuberculosis screening in the Philippines is 3200 Philippine peso. You will pay the clinic directly for the cost of your tuberculosis test. The cost of the test is in addition to the visa application fee.
The test fee does not cover treatment if you have tuberculosis.
Children under 11 years old who do not require screening will have to pay 500 Philippine peso per person as an interview fee. Those children who the clinician decides will need screening will be charged the same fee as adults although they will not be charged the additional 500 Philippine peso interview fee.
Getting your results
If you have the standard test your results and certificate should be available in 24 hours. If the test results are inconclusive you may be required to take a sputum test (phlegm coughed up from your lungs) the results from this test can take up to 2 months to process and there may be an additional charge. If you do not have tuberculosis you will be given a certificate, which you should submit with your visa application. The certificate is usually valid for 6 months.
You will not be issued with a certificate if you have been diagnosed with tuberculosis. The clinician will give you advice about treatment and provide you with a treatment referral letter. Treatment can take up to 6 months to complete. You will not be able to apply for a UK visa until you can show you have had treatment for tuberculosis and you are free from the disease.
In relation to your visa application the clinician will be specifically looking for evidence of tuberculosis. You will be informed if any other abnormalities have shown up on the x-ray. You will be advised to contact your doctor for further tests.
Who does not need to be tested?
Applicants in the following categories are exempt from the tuberculosis test requirement:
- diplomats accredited to the UK;
- returning residents (unless they have been absent from the UK for more than 2 years);
- Certificate of entitlement holders (right of abode in the UK); and
- children under 11 years old (unless deemed necessary by a clinician).
If you are pregnant you have the option of having one of the following tests:-
- an x-ray with an extra protective shield that will protect both you and your unborn child, or
- a sputum test (phlegm coughed up from your lungs). There may be an additional fee for a sputum test and results can take up to 8 weeks to process.
Alternatively you may wish to delay the test until you have had your baby.
Please speak to the healthcare professional at the clinic if you have any doubts or questions.
- If you had tuberculosis in the past If you have had treatment following a positive result, you will need to take the test again with a UK Visas and Immigration approved clinic to show you no longer have the disease. You should also provide details to the clinician of your previous screening, your x-ray if possible, and information on your treatment and recovery.
Disagree with your test results?
The consent form states that the clinician's decision is final.
Test certificate and validity
Your test certificate will be returned to you, along with your other documents, when we have made a decision on your visa application. If you are issued a visa you should bring your test certificate (or a photocopy) with you in your hand luggage when you come to the UK and be prepared to show it to the immigration officer on arrival.
Your tuberculosis test certificate will be valid for 6 months. You may be given a certificate that is valid for 3 months if you have shared a closed environment or household for a prolonged period with someone with tuberculosis.
- Test certificates from other countries Tuberculosis test certificates used for visa applications for other countries such as Australia cannot be used for your UK visa application, even if it was conducted at the same clinic. You must to be screened specifically for UK Visas and Immigration visa requirements.
Your visa application
You will need to submit your test certificate with your visa application and supporting documents. You cannot send your test certificate to us after you have submitted your application. Information on the visa application process and the required documents can be found on this website.
Refunds will not be made
The test fee cannot be refunded if:
- you do not have tuberculosis;
- you decide not to apply for a visa or withdraw your application;
- your visa application is refused; or
- if you decide not to travel to the UK.
- Confidentiality The clinician will report cases of tuberculosis to local, regional or national authorities if it is a requirement of the authorities where the test is taken. The clinician must also report these cases to UK Visas and Immigration, who may also share the data with other UK government departments such as the Health Protection Agency.