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Moving to England from EU countries or Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland

To get free NHS healthcare in England you need to be "ordinarily resident" in the UK. This means you must be living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being. You may be asked for evidence of this.

If you are not ordinarily resident in the UK, you will be an overseas visitor and may be charged for NHS services. It is strongly recommended that you take out sufficient health insurance to cover your time in the UK.

Healthcare for EU citizens after Brexit

If you are an EU citizen living lawfully in the UK on the day the UK leaves the EU, you will be able to use the NHS, as you can now, after that date.

British citizens who live in Ireland and Irish citizens who live in the UK will continue to have the right to access healthcare in these countries after the UK leaves the EU. Irish citizens or British citizens living in Ireland will not have to pay for necessary treatment when visiting England.

For a detailed definition of what being ordinarily resident means, see the GOV.UK guidance.

If you are a citizen of a country outside of the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland subject to immigration control, read the section moving to England from outside the EEA, as different rules may apply.

Healthcare for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland

The UK has agreed Citizens' Rights Agreements with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland if the UK leaves the EU with a deal or without a deal. These agreements mean that citizens of these countries living lawfully in the UK on the day the UK leaves the EU will be able to use the NHS as they can now.

If there is a no-deal Brexit, the UK government will aim to agree "reciprocal healthcare arrangements" either via an EU-wide approach or with the individual countries. This would mean that existing healthcare arrangements would continue, with the relevant country continuing to pay healthcare costs for their current or former residents living in, working in or visiting the UK until 31 December 2020. Such arrangements would not affect the rights of individuals covered by the Citizens' Rights Agreements with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, as set out below

If there is a no-deal Brexit and you are considering moving to the UK after the day the UK leaves the EU, you should check with your health insurance authority what has been agreed.

State pensioners or benefit holders

If you receive a state pension or another exportable benefit from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you will need to check with the relevant authorities to see if they are responsible for your health costs in England. If so, and you do not already have an S1 certificate, you may need to apply for an S1 certificate from your health insurance authority to be covered for healthcare in the UK.

If you are an EU citizen and do not have an S1 certificate, you can continue to apply for one until the UK leaves the EU. You will need to register your S1 in England to access NHS care in the same way as ordinary residents. Send the S1 directly to the Overseas Healthcare Team for it to be processed:

Overseas Healthcare Services NHS Business Services Authority Bridge House 152 Pilgrim Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6SN Email nhsbsa.ovmqueries@nhs.net

If you are a citizen of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein living in the UK on the day the UK leaves the EU, your S1 will still be valid after that date because of the Citizens' Rights Agreements with those countries. You may still apply to your health insurance authority after exit day for an S1 if you do not have one.

The S1 certificate may not be valid for citizens of EU member states moving to the UK after exit day, depending on what arrangements the UK makes with individual EU countries.

Working in England

If you are an EU citizen living lawfully in England on the day the UK leaves the EU, you will still be able to access healthcare in the way you do now, even if there is a no-deal Brexit.

If you are coming to work in England as a frontier worker after the day the UK leaves the EU, you will need to check with the relevant authorities in your home country about whether they are responsible for your healthcare costs in the UK. Where reciprocal arrangements have been agreed, you may need one of the following:

  • A1 form – proof that you pay National Insurance (NI) contributions in your country and a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
  • S1 form – issued in your country

Once you have the relevant forms, register them with the Overseas Healthcare Team. Send a copy of your forms to:

Overseas Healthcare Services NHS Business Services Authority Bridge House 152 Pilgrim Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6SN Email nhsbsa.ovmqueries@nhs.net

Studying in England

If you are a student from an EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, and have begun a course of education or training in England before the day the UK leaves the EU, you may continue to use your EHIC or PRC, if you have one, to access free NHS healthcare. This will apply until the end of your course, even if it finishes after exit day.

You will need to present your EHIC or PRC every time you need to access healthcare. You may also be asked to demonstrate that you began your course before the UK left the EU.

If you do not have an EHIC or PRC, you can continue to apply for one from the health insurance authority in your home country.

If you start your education or training in England after Brexit, your EHIC may not be valid. You should buy insurance to cover your healthcare as you would if visiting another non-EU country. If the UK reaches a reciprocal healthcare agreement with your home country, you would be able to access healthcare in the same way you can now until 31 December 2020.

See student health tips.

Rules are different for students from outside the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. For more advice, see moving to England from outside the EEA.

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