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Health and Care Worker Visa

The Health and Care Worker Visa aids international healthcare professionals to access employment via the NHS and allied healthcare professions in the United Kingdom.

For further advice of whether you are eligible to apply for a Health and Care worker Visa, call our friendly team today on 0121 667 6530. 

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    What is the Health and Care Worker Visa?

    The Health and Care Worker visa (replacing the Tier 2 Health and Care visa) 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.

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    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 £247. Anything over 3 years comes at a cost of £479 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.

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      What does my Health and Care Worker 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
      • Volunteer
      • Acquire an additional job (not always permitted)
      • Study
      • 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

      Eligible job roles on the Health and Care Worker visa

      When qualified nurses, doctors, social care or healthcare professionals accept a job offer from a licensed sponsor, they will receive a standard occupational classification code (SOC) listed below. Here are some eligible jobs under the Health and Care Worker visa:

      Eligible jobs under the Health and Care Worker visa and their SOC code:

      • 2211 – Medical practitioners
      • 2231 – Nurses
      • 2232 – Midwives
      • 2213 – Pharmacists
      • 2214 – Ophthalmic opticians
      • 2215 – Dental practitioners
      • 2217 – Medical radiographers
      • 2218 – Podiatrists
      • 2212 – Psychologists
      • 2221 – Physiotherapists
      • 2222 – Occupational therapists
      • 2223 – Speech and language therapists
      • 3213 – Paramedics
      • 3216 – Dispensing opticians
      • 3217 – Pharmaceutical technicians
      • 3218 – Medical and dental technicians
      • 3219 – Health associate professionals (not elsewhere classified)
      • 2442 – Social workers
      • 2112 – Biological scientists and biochemists
      • 2113 – Physical scientists
      • 3111 – Laboratory technicians
      • 2229 – Therapy professionals (not elsewhere classified)
      • 1181 – Health services and public health managers and directors
      • 1242 – Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
      • 6141 – Nursing auxiliaries and assistants
      • 6143 – Dental nurses
      • 6145 – Care workers & home carers
      • 6146 – Senior care workers

      Supporting documents for your application

      Here is a list of all the supporting documents you will need for a Health and Care worker visa application:

      • Your employer’s name and sponsor licence reference number.
      • Your Certificate of Sponsorship (reference number) provided by your employer.
      • Comprehensive job details including your job title, SOC code, and salary.
      • Documentation from your bank or building society demonstrating adequate personal savings, unless your CoS states that your A-rated sponsor can financially support you instead.
      • An up-to-date and valid passport or travel document to confirm your ability to travel.
      • Expired passports or travel documents to indicate your travel history.
      • Evidence of your English language proficiency.
      • Tuberculosis test results, if applicable based on your country of origin.
      • A certificate of no criminal record, unless your role is exempt.
      • If you are applying with dependents, proof of relationship such as your marriage certificate for your spouse and birth certificates for your children.

      Processing times for the Health and Care Worker visa

      Once received, your Health and Care Worker visa application will receive priority processing from UK Visas and Immigration. This typically results in a decision on the application within about 3 weeks from the submission of biometric information, benefiting the majority of healthcare professionals applying under this category.

      As with any visa application, however, delays are to be expected and you may face a longer processing time if there are discrepancies with your application. This is why we recommend hiring Birmingham immigration lawyers to help you compile a correct application to avoid delays.

      Switching jobs on a Health and Care Worker visa

      Health and Care visa holders must notify the Home Office if they change their job or their UK sponsor employer changes for whatever reason. This will update your visa. For instance, you will be required to contact the Home Office if:

      • Your job occupation code changes
      • Your employer changes
      • Starting a new job that is not on the shortage occupation list
      • Starting a new job where the details are different to what is on your certificate of sponsorship

      If you have any questions about your British Citizenship application, our team is happy to assist. Contact Us

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        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 Health and 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, advice about a UK sponsor, or how we can help you to secure your UK Visa, call our friendly team today on 0121 667 6530.


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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  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.

                  The UK government recently made changes to this. You can no longer bring dependants with you on the UK health and care visa. However, your dependants can enter the UK if they are eligible for the following visas:

                  And other work visa. Reach out to our team for more information.

                  Do note that:

                  1. Existing holders with dependents can continue to sponsor their dependent, the said dependent can still extend their visa. The changes don’t apply to them
                  2. Existing holders without dependents can still bring dependents
                  3. If you switch to this route after the changes are in place, you can’t bring dependents