Medical tourism with a second passport
Holders of second citizenship or residency can save time on getting visas, stay in the country of treatment for a more extended time or leave for another country for rehabilitation without trouble.
Treatment abroad without visas. A medical visa is usually required for treatment in another country. One has to collect documents, including an invitation from the clinic, make an advance payment or pay for the entire course of treatment to get a visa.
An application for a medical visa to Germany is considered for up to 30 days. To get to a clinic in the United States, you need a B visa, issued within 6 weeks from the date of application. In an urgent case, a visa will be issued within several days from the date of application, but the need to fly for treatment as soon as possible must be documented.
A second citizenship or a residence permit allows investors to get the freedom of movement around the world, which means they can be treated abroad without visas.
Each status provides particular opportunities. For example, Caribbean citizens come to the EU for 90 days out of 180. Maltese citizens stay in other EU countries for as long as they need and can also visit the USA without a visa.
Family members get second citizenship or residency together with the investor. They can also be treated abroad without visas or come there to visit their loved ones.
Long-term rehabilitation abroad. A medical visa is valid for a short time, for example, for up to 3 months in the case of the Schengen countries. An extension is denied if the patient can already leave the country.
A second passport or residence permit sometimes allows the holder to stay in the country of treatment for longer. Also, with these documents, you can go to another country with high living standards and developed medicine to continue treatment or undergo rehabilitation.
Saving on medical services. Sometimes, investors with second citizenship or residency can receive medical services on special terms.
Residents of the EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, covered by the public health insurance system, receive European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs). The card allows the holder to receive medical care in any of these countries under the same conditions as the locals — free of charge or cheaper than for foreigners.
EHIC will only help you save money if you need medical care while staying in the country. The card also applies to people with chronic diseases who need regular treatments and pregnant women, provided that treatment or childbirth isn’t the purpose of the trip.
The European Health Insurance Card doesn’t cover scheduled medical treatment, private clinics and flights. It also doesn’t replace travel insurance.
If an EU citizen needs planned treatment in another EU state, they can also undergo it on favourable terms. The insurance institution will cover or reimburse the costs.
Investors’ stories about treatment abroad
Treatment in Europe with Caribbean citizenship. Amal wanted to be able to go to a clinic in Germany or Austria anytime. To achieve this goal, he obtained an Antigua and Barbuda passport. When the investor’s back problems worsened, he could undergo treatment in Baden-Baden without a visa.
Regular treatment in Europe with Malta permanent residence. Irene has an autoimmune disease and visits Vienna twice a year to undergo treatment. She used to get medical visas to Austria for every trip. IIrene’s family became Maltese permanent residents with the right to enter other Schengen countries visa-free. Thus, there was no more need for visas for treatment in Austria.
Rehabilitation in the UK with Vanuatu citizenship. Samar was implanted with a pacemaker in London, and doctors banned the investor from travelling by air until full recovery. But staying in the hospital was no longer necessary, and he couldn’t extend his medical visa. Samar got a Vanuatu passport before his visa expired to stay in the UK.
Highlights on benefits of a second passport for medical treatment abroad
- A second citizenship or a residence permit provides investors new opportunities for travelling worldwide. Therefore, medical tourism to Europe, the UK and the USA may not require visas.
- Investors sometimes may spend more time in the country of treatment than medical tourists with visas. For example, Portuguese residents can stay in this state for as long as they need because their stay is limited only by the validity of their residence permits.
- You can save money on treatment abroad, for example, by using insurance. EU residents covered by the state insurance system receive EHIC cards. The cardholder can get medical aid on preferential terms while visiting other EU and EFTA states.
Frequently asked questions
One usually needs a medical visa to go to another country for medical treatment. Visa applications must include an invitation from the clinic and a payment receipt for the treatment course.
Holders of second passports or residence permits can sometimes visit other countries for treatment without visas. For example, Portuguese residents can attend clinics in Portugal for an unlimited time and spend up to 90 days in hospitals of other Schengen states. Caribbean citizens can stay in the UK for up to six months.
The USA is considered one of the best states in terms of healthcare: 33 US clinics are in the top 100 of the world’s best, according to Newsweek.
Yes, they can. Both tourists and patients get B-1/B-2 visitor visas to spend up to 180 days in the USA. But if the trip’s purpose is to get medical treatment, a letter from a treating physician or a clinic is required. Pregnant women can’t specify giving birth as grounds for entering the USA.