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Doctor showing a patient a chest X-Ray

It may at first seem strange when your visa application process requires a chest X-ray from a certified radiographer. This X-Ray is often requested by country’s we as South Africans visit, as part of a verification process that you are in good health and fit to travel.

The unfortunate reality is that we as a nation struggle with a high prevalence of tuberculosis (TB), and a chest X-Ray demonstrates that you as a South African visiting abroad will ultimately pose no risk of infection to the host nation during your time abroad.

Visas that Require a Chest X-Ray

Requirements vary from country to country and depend on a multitude of factors. Here is a brief list of visas that require a chest X-ray:

  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • South Korea
  • China
  • Canada
  • Brazil

Why do Some Visas Require Chest X-Rays from South Africans?

Chest X-rays may also be required if you come from a country with a high rate of tuberculosis such as South Africa. The length of your stay will also be a determining factor in whether one is needed or not. For example, if you are staying for up to 6 months in New Zealand, you will most likely not need a chest x-ray.

If you plan to stay in New Zealand for 6 to 12 months, you need a chest x-ray and if you are from a country with a high rate of tuberculosis infection or if you have spent more than 3 months in the past 5 years in such a country. Finally, if your stay is longer than 12 months, a chest x-ray is required no matter where you are from.

X-Ray Requirements for Each Country

The above is but one example of the requirements for visa chest x-rays. If you are uncertain as to whether you will require one, the best option is to contact the immigration department of the country you are applying for directly. Below is a short list of some of the requirements you can expect:

  • South Korea
    • Chest X-rays are required for nationals from high TB burden countries such as Russia, Thailand, Pakistan, and South Africa. All x-rays need to be from hospitals designated by the South Korean embassy.
  • New Zealand
    • Citizens from countries with a high incidence of tuberculosis who are staying for more than 6 months require a chest X-ray from approved physicians. Children under 11 years of age and pregnant women do not need to have one.
  • Canada
    • A medical exam is required if you plan to stay for more than 6 months. Especially if you have lived in or travelled to one or more certain countries in the last 6 months.

Where can I get a Chest X-Ray in South Africa?

Most immigration departments will provide you with a list of approved physicians that you will need to contact for a chest X-ray. At Bergman Ross, our continual aim is to provide radiological services of the highest standards. Particular attention is given to making accurate diagnoses, maximising patient care, and minimising wait times.

If you are looking for a chest X-ray in Cape Town, Bergman Ross has a number of facilities for you to visit. If you are in Gauteng, then you can view our list of branches where you can get a chest X-ray.

Finally for a more comprehensive list of all  branches that offer chest X-rays for visa applications you can view all branches that offer chest X-rays for visas in the link above.

Specific to the UK & Australia

Certain locations require the chest X-Ray be performed at specific locations due to embassy rules, with the United Kingdom and Australia respectively being two such countries. eMedicals for these locations can be done at our Tyger Valley branch In Cape Town.