What is the Health and Care Worker Visa?
The Health and Care Worker was implemented by the UK government to allow overseas medical professionals to work in the United Kingdom on a UK Visa for the health sector. Overseas candidates are now able to work directly for the NHS, an NHS supplier, or within care homes in the adult social care field as allied health professionals.
You may already be aware of the Skilled Worker Visa, and whilst it is similar in allowing you to live and work in the UK, the Health and Care Worker Visa offers international health and care workers a more efficient and cost-effective method of application than the Skilled Worker Visa route.
Once acquired, the Health and Care Worker Visa will remain valid for 5 years. A UK visa extension application can be made after this time should you wish to continue working on a Health and Care Visa. For those looking to take up permanent residence in the UK, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and continue your career as a health professional.
A significant benefit to the Health and Care Worker Visa is that provided you are a prospective employee for an eligible job, as a healthcare professional, you will be eligible for reduced visa fees and will not be required to pay the immigration health surcharge.
Am I eligible for a Health and Care Worker Visa?
In order to apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa and to be granted entry clearance, a set of eligibility requirements needs to be met. Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered and granted a Health and Care Worker Visa:
- You must be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional, or social care worker
- You must have a formal job offer from a UK-based employer from the Home Offices approved employers list
- You must plan on working in one of the eligible job occupations
- You must be competent in speaking, reading and writing in the English language to a minimum of a level B1.
- You must meet the salary requirements for your job role
You must have a certificate of sponsorship from your UK-based employer. It must outline the specification and description of the job you are undertaking.
Advice on which visa route you are eligible for, whether it be a Health and Care Worker Visa or a UK Visa via the Skilled Worker route can be given by our expert immigration lawyers should you need it.
What is the Certificate of Sponsorship requirements?
A certificate of sponsorship will be assigned to health and care workers after they receive a job offer from their new employer. This is an essential part of your application to ensure you qualify to be granted a Health and Care Worker Visa. It must come from a government-approved employer to support your Health and Care visa application form.
For those who anticipate working for an NHS supplier, they must also provide evidence of their contract with the NHS along with the digital Certificate of Sponsorship.
It is important to note that the certificate differs slightly from the one required for a Skilled Worker Visa. An explanation from your new employer on how you meet the job requirements is required with the certificate before the care visa application.
Do I meet the salary requirements?
The Health and Care Worker Visa requires applicants to meet the minimum salary eligibility requirements. These requirements can vary depending on the job you will be getting. Guidelines state that you must be making an annual salary of £25,600 or an hourly rate of £10.10.
Should the going rate for your role be higher, your minimum salary will increase. The going rate will vary in accordance with your job role. It is required that you meet the minimum going rate for that job.
In the instance that you are a health and care worker earning under the minimum requirement, it is still possible to access the health and care visa. However, you must fall into one of the following criteria:
- You are a student or under the age of 26, in professional training, or a recent graduate
- Your job appears on the shortage occupation list
- You have a Ph.D. STEM qualification that can be applied in health and care
- You have a postdoctoral position in a scientific role
What are the required documents for a Health and Care visa?
In order to apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa, you will be required to meet the document requirements set out in the immigration rules from the Home Office to support your visa application. Care visa applicants need to ensure that they provide the following:
- Certificate of Sponsor reference number- this can be obtained from your employer
- Proof of their English language knowledge
- A valid passport or an alternative document that shows your nationality and identity
- Your job title and annual salary
- Your jobs occupation code
- The name of your employer and their sponsor license number- you can find this on your Certificate of Sponsor
Particular job roles will require you to submit a criminal record certificate in addition to the information and documents outlined above. You can check with your prospective employer to understand if you need to submit a criminal record certificate for your job role.
How can I apply for a Health and Care Visa?
Applications for a Health and Care Worker Visa are to be made online via the UK government website.
Initially, you will apply for the care worker visa via the skilled worker route, until you are asked to specify if you are applying for a Health and Care Worker Visa. At this point, you would disclose that yes you are.
A considerable part of the Health and Care visa application is providing your documents for proof of identity. There are two methods that you can use to do so. You can either submit it digitally via the UK Immigration: ID Check application or you can attend an in-person appointment at a specified visa application centre to have your photographs and fingerprints taken.
To make a valid Health and Care via application, you must submit your application and documents along with the visa application fee.
How much will it cost me?
The cost of the Health and Care visa will vary depending on the length of time you plan on working within the United Kingdom in the health and care profession.
For those who plan on staying for less than three years, the initial free will be £232. Anything over 3 years comes at a cost of £464 for the health and care visa application.
Please note that this fee only covers the cost of your health and care visa application. Individuals planning on obtaining their care visa must also have at least £1,270 available in funds to support maintaining living in the UK once the care visa is granted. It is the responsibility of the care worker visa holders to ensure they have enough personal savings to support themselves.
For citizens of certain countries, reduced visa fees of £55 may be available. If you live in one of the following countries and fall into the Care Worker Visa category, you be eligible for reduced fees:
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.
What does my Health and Care Visa allow me to do in the UK?
During your time living in the UK, there multiple things that your Health and Care visa will allow you to do. As somebody on a care worker visa, you are permitted to do the following:
- Work an eligible job
- Acquire an additional job (not always permitted)
- Bring your children and partner to live with you
- Travel into and out of the United Kingdom
- Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after five years of living and working in the UK
- Apply to extend your Health and Care visa if you wish to continue working in the UK- you must be in the same job as you were when you were previously granted entry clearance
- You are not required to pay the immigration health surcharge
How can IAS help?
Applying for a Health and Care visa can seem like a daunting task for healthcare professionals looking to work in the UK.
Our trained immigration lawyers at IAS can help you on your journey to acquiring a care visa. From checking your eligibility and visa category to submitting the correct documents, our lawyers are experts in immigration matters and visa applications. They will continue to support you after you have been granted entry clearance.
To find out more about which visa route you should take, or how we can help you to secure your UK Visa, call our friendly team today on 0121 667 6530.
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
The key difference between these two visas is that the Health and Care Worker Visa is for qualified healthcare professionals only. It was implemented to offer a more streamlined and cost effective route to skilled work in the UK for those qualified in the health and social care sector.
Yes. If after your visa expires you wish to remain working in the UK, you can apply to have your visa extended. For those who wish to remain on a more permanent basis, you can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after 5 years of being in the UK.
When you are granted entry on a Health and Care Worker Visa, you are permitted to bring your partner and any dependant children to live with you in the UK.