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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 living lawfully in the UK before the end of 2020 you will be able to use the NHS in England, as you do now, after that date.

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.

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.

When your health costs in the UK are covered by another EEA country or Switzerland

Under certain circumstances, your healthcare may be paid for by your country of residence. For example, this may apply to students, pensioners or posted workers. For more details, look up the relevant category.

There will be no changes to healthcare access for residents of the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland who live in or visit the UK before the end of 2020.

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 apply for one from your country of residence. 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

Working in England

If you are an EU citizen living lawfully in England before the end of 2020, you will still be able to access healthcare in the UK as you do now.

If you are coming to work in England as a frontier worker before the end of 2020, 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 end of 2020, you may continue to use your EHIC or PRC, if you have one, to access free NHS healthcare until the end of your course.

You will need to present your EHIC or PRC every time you need to access healthcare that becomes medically necessary during your stay. You may also be asked to demonstrate when you began your course in the UK.

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.

An EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. You should buy insurance to cover your healthcare as you would if visiting another non-EU country.

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: 30 January 2020
Next review due: 30 January 2023