Your rights and access to services in the UK are dependent on your immigration status.
Services and treatments which are free for everyone, whatever their immigration status:
For other treatment the hospital might ask you for payment before they will treat you. If you can't pay (or show how you'll pay later) they might refuse you treatment.
If you need further advice on this please contact the Online Advice Service.
You will have the right to reside in the UK if you are a UK national, or:
Your close relatives will also have a right to reside based on your status. Close relatives include:
If you are an EEA or Swiss national and you are not either employed, self-employed or registered as a jobseeker, then you will not have an automatic right to reside, although you may be able to show that you are habitually resident.
In order to get certain means-tested benefits, you’ll need to meet all the normal conditions for the benefit you’re claiming, and you must be able to pass the Habitual Residence Test.
The Habitual Residence Test has two parts:
To prove that you are habitually resident, you must show that you intend to settle in the UK, Isle of Man, Channel Islands or Ireland (the Common Travel Area) and make it your home for the time being.
If you don't have an automatic right to reside and you're not a close relative of somebody who does, you'll need to get a visa to enter the UK or be subject to immigration control.
A visa will give you temporary leave to remain in the UK.
You are subject to immigration control if:
If you have 'indefinite leave to remain' you're no longer subject to immigration control and have a right to reside.
You'll become an overstayer if you were granted limited leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, but you neither left the country on the date indicated nor asked for the leave to be extended.
If you have overstayed your visa or leave, you'll need to act quickly.
From the date that your visa expires, you'll have either:
If you don’t do either, you'll be at risk of deportation.
Regardless of how long you’ve overstayed, you can still:
You can access HIV care and treatment regardless of your immigration status.
You have 28 days from the date your visa expires to apply for a new visa - either by extending your current visa or leave, or by applying in a different category.
The Home Office will automatically reject your application if you apply after this date.
You should seek legal advice as soon as possible. You can contact our Online Adviser for Level 1 immigration advice or:
They may be able to suggest other ways to legalise your stay, for example if you have children living in the UK or if you’re married to a British citizen.
As an overstayer you will lose whatever rights you had during your legal period of stay while a decision is pending on any new application.
If you don’t leave voluntarily within 90 days, you could be deported.
If you leave voluntarily after 90 days, you could be banned from re-entering the UK for between 1 and 10 years.
If your immigration status is that of an asylum seeker, you and your dependants are entitled to free NHS medical treatment and help with travel costs.
Legally, failed asylum seekers aren’t entitled to free NHS care as they aren’t lawfully resident in the country, but NHS Trusts have been given discretion to provide refused asylum seekers with free treatment, depending on a number of factors.
As an asylum seeker, or even as a failed asylum seeker, you can register with a GP.
Contact Online Advice for more information.
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This article was last reviewed on
by Anna Peters
Date due for the next review: 27/4/2019
Content Author: Gillian Arrindell
Current Owner: D. Anyanwu
The habitual residence test
Who is subject to immigration control?
Overstaying your visa
Gov.uk visas information
Various people talk about their experiences of living with HIV.
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
HIV Drug Interactions
George House Trust
Equality and Human Rights Commission
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