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Immigration Controls: Tuberculosis

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to prevent the entry to the UK of those with (a) tuberculosis and (b) extreme drug resistant tuberculosis. (200679)

Those seeking leave to enter the UK for more than six months, who are subject to immigration control and who come from countries with a high prevalence of tuberculosis of all types (over 40 cases of TB per 100,000 population) as well as or those who claim asylum at port are routinely referred to the port medical inspector (PMI) for medical examination, which includes TB screening. In addition, immigration officers are required to refer for medical examination anyone who appears ill, or who mentions health or illness as a reason for coming to the UK.

In addition visa applicants from countries with a particularly high prevalence of TB are required to undergo TB screening before seeking a visa. Anyone found to have active infectious TB must complete a course of treatment in their home country before being granted entry clearance. The countries specified include Bangladesh, Kenya (which also covers Eritrean and Somali nationals who travel there to apply for visas), Ghana (which also takes applications from Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Togo and Niger) and Pakistan, Sudan, Tanzania and Thailand (which also processes visa applications for residents of Cambodia and Laos).

Decisions on any further development of the programme will be taken in the light of an evaluation of the scheme which is expected to take place later this year.