Registration of overseas visitors

Our guidance covers what GP practices need to do, the regulations, and common questions when registering a new patient from overseas.
Location: England
Audience: GPs Practice managers
Updated: Thursday 16 January 2020
GP practice article illustration

This is a summary of our guidance for GP practices on registering patients who are visiting the UK from overseas.

What practices need to do

Practices must give patients a question form as part of the registration process (part of a GMS1, or own registration form). This allows patients to self-declare if they hold either a non-UK issued EHIC or an S1 (formerly E106).

The practice is not required to follow up with the patient if they don’t complete the form.

For those who do, practices are required to record it in the patient’s medical record. They should send a copy of the GMS1 and supplementary questions to the email addresses below.


Regulations for overseas visitors

The regulations are detailed in our full guidance. In summary:

  • practices must record the information provided by a newly registered patient on a form
  • practices must record the fact that the patient holds a European health insurance card or S1 healthcare certificate which has not been issued by the UK, in the patient’s medical record
  • a non-UK EHIC must be sent by email to NHS Digital at [email protected], or post to: EHIC, PDS NBO, NHS Digital, Smedley Hydro, Trafalgar Road, Southport, Merseyside PR8 2HH.
  • an S1 healthcare certificate, or a copy of it, should go to the DWP overseas healthcare team at [email protected], or: Freepost RTYR-AJHG-TUSG, Overseas Healthcare Team, Post Handling Site A, Wolverhampton WV98 2DW.



The patient does not have their S1 form. Do I need to follow this up?

If the patient does not have their S1 form they can be registered in the normal way and there is no requirement for the practice to chase this up. The obligation is on the patient to ensure their form is registered.

Can practices return the forms in batches?

If a GP practice receives very high volumes of returns, eg a university GP practice, then forms can be returned in batches.

It is recommended that each patient has only one attachment, and that the total batch of attachments does not exceed 20MB.

Do temporary patients need to complete the GMS1 supplementary questions?

No, the GMS1 form should only be used to register permanent patients. GP practices should continue to use the GMS3 form for temporary patients.

If they have a non-UK EHIC and need to seek secondary care, they should show their EHIC at that point.

Do I need to check the patient’s ID or immigration status?

The process is based on self-declaration and the GP practice does not need to check a patient’s ID. Practice staff are unlikely to be qualified to do this and should not attempt to interpret a patient’s immigration status.

What if a patient doesn’t fill in their EHIC/S1 details?

If a patient does not fill out the additional section for the EHIC/S1 details, the practice should register them as normal. There is no requirement for the practice to follow this up with the patient.

Will this affect the funding I receive for these patients?

Patients will be registered with the practice as normal and will not be treated any differently for the purposes of service provision or funding in the practice.