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Document How long does the EHIC take to arrive and what should I do if I am leaving the UK before it arrives?

Your EHIC will normally arrive within 10 working days if you apply by phone or using the official EHIC website. If you apply by post, your card will normally arrive 10 working days after we receive your application. We are unable to send your card to you any sooner than this. 
If you live outside the UK, the arrival time may vary depending on the postal service of the country you live in.

Travelling without your EHIC

You do not need your EHIC to travel and can apply for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) in place of your EHIC if you require treatment when abroad. A PRC can only be requested if treatment is required and cannot be applied for in advance.

To apply for a PRC if required, you or someone responsible for you can call;
  • 0044 191 218 1999 and select option 2 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm UK time)
You will need to provide;
  • your National Insurance (NI) number or NHS number
  • an email address for your treatment facility, for example the hospital
A PRC can then be emailed directly to the treatment facility to use in place of your EHIC.

If your treatment facility does not have an email address available, we may be able to use your own email address.

Other useful information about the EHIC when you are abroad can be found in the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) EHIC leaflet.

See also...

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