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New phase of tuberculosis screening launched as part of Immigration Rules changes

Home Office continues tuberculosis pre-entry screening programme roll out in second set of high incidence countries.

The second phase of the Home Office’s life-saving pre-entry tuberculosis (TB) screening programme has been introduced as part of the new immigration rules laid recently (Monday 10 June).

Pre-entry screening

The programme means that migrants who want to enter the UK for more than six months, from 67 countries with a high incidence of TB, have to be screened before they are granted a visa for the UK.

The first phase of pre-entry screening was rolled out to eight countries, including India, Malaysia and the Philippines, in May 2012, and will now be introduced to a further 11 countries from Monday 1 July.

Immigration Minister Mark Harper said:

It’s essential that we take action to tackle the rise of tuberculosis cases in the UK. Pre-entry screening, followed by treatment where necessary, will help to prevent the risk of TB in the UK and will also save lives.

The further expansion of our pre-entry screening process will help prevent the importation and spread of TB in the UK and save money for the tax payer in the process.

Increase

The introduction of pre-screening comes as recent figures showed that there were over 9,000 new cases of TB in the UK in 2011, a five per cent increase on 2010. The programme is targeted at migrants after research showed non-UK born people accounted for three quarters of all new TB cases diagnosed – 20 times higher than in the UK born population.

Pre-entry screening will be rolled out to the following 11 countries from Monday 1 July: China (settlement cases only), Ethiopia, Gambia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malawi, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia.

The immigration rules changes were introduced in an explanatory memorandum.

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