To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking with stakeholders to approve a tuberculosis testing clinic in Northern Ireland; and what provisions are currently in place for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa applicants in Northern Ireland in the context of those people not being able to access approved clinics in Great Britain.
On 31 January 2021 the UK Government launched a new immigration route for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) status holders, providing the opportunity for them and their eligible family members to live, work and study in the UK.
Having a valid TB test certificate is an essential requirement for the BN(O) route. All those who have been in the UK for less than six months and who have previously travelled from a country with a high incidence of TB will need a certificate confirming they are free of the disease. This is a matter of public health.
There are already eight approved TB test clinics across the UK and we are working hard to get more clinics accredited. In particular, the Home Office is working closely with clinics across Northern Ireland to ensure a clinic can be accredited soon and available for appointments.
TB test clinics are open across the UK. We understand restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic may impact on an applicant’s ability to travel and we would urge applicants to assess the risk and only travel to a TB test appointment where necessary. Where an applicant’s leave is about to expire and they cannot travel to an approved clinic, we will consider these applications on a case-by-case basis.