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Getting healthcare in Wales after 1 January 2021

Planned healthcare arrangements will continue; and eligible pensioners, frontier workers and certain other groups – and their family members - will continue to benefit from reciprocal healthcare arrangements covering their healthcare costs.

Healthcare providers should continue to use the processes already in place to recover these costs from Member States.

With the ending of free movement, EU citizens who move to the UK from 1 January 2021 for more than six months will be subject to immigration control and pay the immigration health surcharge as part of any visa application. However, certain groups, where a Member State continues to cover their healthcare costs in full, will be able to seek reimbursement of the surcharge. Short-term visitors to the UK who are not covered by the new UK-EU agreement on reciprocal healthcare, including former UK residents, may be charged for NHS treatment.

EU citizens lawfully living in Wales before 31 December 2020, will be able to use the NHS in Wales, as you can now. Provided you have registered and obtained settled or pre-settled status to be able to continue to live in the UK and access NHS services free of charge. If you do not register, you may be considered an overseas visitor and may be charged for NHS services.  

To be considered ordinarily resident, you must be living in Wales on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being. You may be asked for evidence of this.

There is currently no agreement with Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein but there are negotiations under way between these countries and the UK Government. 


The UK has agreed citizens’ rights agreements with Switzerland. These agreements mean Swiss citizens can access immediately necessary care free of charge.

These agreements do not cover citizens of these countries who move to the UK after the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status) (opens in new tab)

Agreement with Ireland

Irish citizens who live in the UK, and British citizens who live in Ireland, will continue to have healthcare cover in the country they live in after the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 December 2020. This is because of longstanding arrangements under the Common Travel Area.

Common Travel Area: rights of UK and Irish citizens (opens in new tab)

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