Student Immigration Service

Healthcare for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

Information on access to healthcare for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

If you were residing in your EU country of nationality and you arrived in the UK prior to 31 December 2020

While full-time students have access to the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland, we recommend that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your country of residence prior to coming to the UK. This is because NHS staff may still request to see a EHIC when you register with a general practitioner (GP) and it may be necessary if you require specialist treatment.

Please note you cannot apply for EHIC in the UK.

UK Government information about EHIC

You do not need to hold a EHIC when you apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you are residing in your EU country of nationality and arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020

We expect EU/EEA /Swiss students arriving in the UK after 31 December 2020 will need to apply for entry clearance (a visa) under the Student Route. As part of the application process, they will need to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS): this will ensure they will have access to healthcare while in the UK.

If you do not have an EHIC card, and you are not living in your EU country of nationality

If you do not reside in your country of nationality, you may not be able to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). While obtaining a EHIC prior to travelling to the UK is generally recommended, access to the National Health Service (NHS) is available to all full-time students in Scotland.

NHS Scotland: Information for people coming to Scotland to study

NHS staff may still request to see a EHIC when you register with a general practitioner (GP) and it may be necessary if require specialist treatment.

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) and settling in the UK

When you apply for the EU Settlement Scheme you won't need to show that you hold, or have held, private health insurance while you have been in the UK. However, if you intend to, or would like the option of, naturalising in the UK when you become eligible to do so, you may need to show that you have lived in the UK for the relevant qualifying period as a 'qualified person'. As a student, you are a 'qualified person' if you have enough money to meet your living expenses without claiming public funds, and if you hold Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) for you and any dependant family members.

If you intend to settle in the UK, and become a UK citizen, it may be worth considering obtaining sickness insurance prior to travelling to the UK. 

Find more information about CSI

Please note: we are unable to advise about naturalising in the UK.