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Giving birth outside the UK

How you access healthcare for giving birth outside of the UK may change after Brexit.

Giving birth outside the UK before Brexit

If you want to give birth in another EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you'll need:

The S2 is for maternity care and delivery only. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is for any other state-provided healthcare treatment that you or your child may need.

If you're using an EHIC issued by the UK, this will still be valid until Brexit happens or if your treatment started before exit day.

Even if you plan to give birth in the UK and you're only going for a short trip abroad, you're advised to take a valid EHIC with you. The card will provide cover for all medical treatment linked to the birth if the baby is born unexpectedly.

The EHIC may not cover you for every situation. You should always take out comprehensive travel insurance when going overseas, both to EU and non-EU destinations. Check your insurance has the necessary healthcare cover or talk with your GP and insurer about how to get the right cover, and how this affects your travel.

If you're using an S2 issued by the UK, this will still be valid until Brexit happens or if your treatment started before exit day.

Giving birth outside the UK after Brexit

If there's no Brexit deal, your access to state-provided healthcare when visiting an EU country may change.

If you're planning to visit after Brexit, you should continue to buy travel insurance so you can get the healthcare treatment you need, just as you would if visiting a non-EU country.

The S2 route may not be available if there's a no-deal Brexit.

Your EHIC may not be valid if there is a no-deal Brexit.

How to apply for an S2

Fill in the Giving birth abroad application form, also called the S2 form, (PDF, 620kb).

Send it with a copy of your maternity certificate (MAT B1) and any other supporting documents, to Overseas Healthcare Services at the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

Email your application to, or post it to:

Overseas Healthcare Services
152 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne

If you need help or have any questions about filling in this form, call the NHSBSA on +44 (0)191 218 1999, Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

An interpretation service can be provided over the phone if English is not your first language.

Page last reviewed: 28 August 2019
Next review due: 28 August 2022