I am a UK state pensioner living in canada with Dual citizenship. will the NHS cover me during my 3 week trip to the UK starting 22 June? I will travel with my Canadian passport

  • If you are a UK citizen, then why would you travel to UK on a Canadian passport?
    – Aleks G
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 13:36
  • 2
    same reason I do - born in the UK, lived in Canada since 1969, use a Canadian passport for everything. Perfectly legit. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 14:02

3 Answers 3


As discussed in answer to your other question, the The NHS is a residence-based healthcare system. As such, if you're not resident in the UK, you wouldn't normally have access to the NHS.

There are two broad exceptions though. One of those, as mentioned before, is for countries with reciprocal healthcare agreements, but Canada isn't one of them.

There is one other key exemption to the rules

UK state pensioners living outside the EEA

Anyone receiving a UK state pension if they have lived legally in the UK for 10 continuous years or more at some point.

So you're actually covered!

However, because you're not by default covered as a Canadian resident, you can't just turn up with a Canadian passport, nor an expired UK passport. You'll need to provide proof that you're both a UK state pensioner, and that you're ordinarily resident outside of the EEA.

The implementing the overseas visitors hospital charging regulations PDF covers your case in section 23(a), which gives:

Examples of evidence:

(a) confirmation in receipt of UK state pension (not private or occupational pension)

e.g.pension slip, pink form BR 464, confirmation from DWP; and

(b) proof of ten years continuous residence e.g. previous job, schools attended, previous address(es)

So, you'll need to bring with you something that proves you live in Canada, and something from the DWP that confirms you're in receipt of a UK state pension. Also, plan to have to fill out some forms to go with these, so allow a bit of extra time whenever you want to deal with the NHS

  • Proof of ten years continuous residence - a bit ridiculous, especially if someone lived in the UK many years ago...
    – Grzenio
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 9:44

I don't know where the info is coming from. We have dual citizenship, British/Canadian and live in Canada (for 52 years) and travelled to England for a month (June). My wife got sick and needed medical attention. There was no question about residency or anything else. She received the attention she needed and was told that any visitor to England receives the same. No charge. Another Canadian/Brit (a friend) tried to pay for minor surgery and was told the hospital was not set up to accept payment. He never received a bill. Buy insurance if it will make you feel safe. I don't.


It doesn't matter what passport you travel on, the answer is No! "If you are moving abroad on a permanent basis, you will no longer be entitled to medical treatment under normal NHS rules. This is because the NHS is a residence-based healthcare system." NHS

You should take out travel insurance.

  • 1
    Normally correct, but actually wrong for this one case - there's a special exemption for UK state pensioners living outside of Europe!
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 14:49

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