My wife is a US citizen. She was given a 180-day private medical visa to the UK finishing on 24th August. She left the UK on 16th July after using 97 days of the visa. She wishes to reenter the UK on 23rd August making use of the 180-day visa-free entry scheme for US citizens, and leave on 26th August.

Is this possible? Will the private medical visa be cancelled and my wife allowed to enter under the 180-day visa-free scheme? (This would be fine.) Or, will she be obliged to enter on the private medical visa? (The treatment has been completed.) Additionally, will the fact that she has been entitled to be in the UK for 180 days on the private medical visa remove her right to visa-free entry?

  • @pnuts, you are right as usual, but the ones issued before the rule changes are still valid.
    – Gayot Fow
    Aug 5, 2015 at 18:37
  • @pnuts Thanks for answering. The visa is marked "Visit - Medical Treatment".
    – Dave
    Aug 5, 2015 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


This is addressed in Paragraph 20A of the rules, which says...

Leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom will usually lapse on the holder going to a country or territory outside the common travel area. However, under article 13 of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000 such leave will not lapse where it was given for a period exceeding six months or where it was conferred by means of an entry clearance (other than a visit visa).

A private medical visa was a type of entry clearance, but it was also a type of visit visa. So your wife's leave will have lapsed unless her second visit is somehow related to her treatment (in which case she will need to show the IO a letter from the clinic).

It's ok to show the IO the entry clearance if he doesn't spot it, but she should present herself as a standard visitor.

Your references to the "180-day visa-free entry scheme" isn't quite right, it's a visa national scheme. Please read Under the VWP a visitor from USA can stay,6 months in any 12,when does the 12 months start?

Comments to your question have pointed out that the private medical treatment visa is now legacy. The current visitor rules (including those for Americans) are at Appendix V.

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