People in the UK on a visa may be asked to show their passport or other documents when using hospital services.
All people coming to Britain from outside the European Union now need to pay a health surcharge of £200 (£150 for students) to cover any NHS treatment they require while in the country. The charges will apply to people coming to the UK for longer than six months.
When receiving new treatment, people will be asked about their residence status in the UK and in cases where there is uncertainty, they may be asked to show their passports or other documentation.
However, the Department of Health said that no one would be turned away if they need urgent treatment while decisions are made on their status.
It said: “The surcharge will ensure that those coming to work, study and join family in the UK make an appropriate financial contribution to the cost of the health services they may use whilst in the UK.”
The Government is aiming to claw back around £500 million annually within the next few years from so-called ‘health tourism’.
Short term non-EU visitors who are in the UK for less than six months will be charged for their treatment at 150 per cent of the cost to the NHS of providing it.
The Government is also looking at ways it can recoup costs from non-EU residents using GP services but there has as yet been no announcement on how it intends to do so. Any changes in the current system will depend on the outcome of the General Election.