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Citizenship and access to healthcare

Being born in the UK does not automatically give British citizenship to a baby. To be classed British, a baby needs to have a parent with British citizenship or settled status in the UK.

To access healthcare, parents of babies born in the UK, who don’t have British citizenship or settled status, need to make an immigration application within the first 3 months of the child’s life and pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

Your baby can remain in the UK without making an immigration application, but they are not entitled to free healthcare after the age of 3 months, unless it is emergency treatment (please see the free services section for further information).

Once the application is completed and the surcharge is paid (or you are exempt from having to pay), your baby can use the NHS as any other citizen while their visa and surcharge remains valid. As an adult, you will still need to pay for certain NHS services, including prescriptions and dental treatment.

If an immigration application is not completed and the surcharge not paid within the 3 month timeframe (unless exempt), any care you access for your baby will be charged at 150% of the cost of NHS treatment.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at each NHS Trust is a free, informal service you can contact to share your suggestions or concerns to help us improve. Besides Berkshire Healthcare, you may access services within the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Find out more about the Berkshire Healthcare PALS

Visit the Royal Berkshire website to find out more about their PALS (opens new browser tab)

Visit the Frimley Health PALS webpage (opens new browser tab)