- Who can apply for the Health and Care Worker Visa?
- How to apply for the Health and Care Worker Visa
- Salary requirements for a healthcare worker
- Required documents
- Fees for the health and care visa
- Waiting time for the health and care visa
- Do you have to update your visa when changing job?
- How to switch to this visa
- How can Newcastle Immigration Lawyers help?
- Frequently asked questions
What is the Health and Care Worker Visa?
The Health and Care Worker visa category is a skilled worker visa that has been designed for overseas healthcare professionals who wish to come to the UK to work in certain categories of health and care roles.
Because some roles in the healthcare sector are on the occupation shortage list, applicants are eligible to receive fast-tracked entry into the UK, reduced visa fees, and exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge.
There are also dedicated supports for Health and Care visa applicants and their families to help with the visa application process.
In most cases, the employer of the health and care worker visa holders will be the NHS, a supplier to the NHS, or an approved adult social care provider.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some health workers and dependents may be able to extend their health and care visas free of charge. Check the Gov.uk page for healthcare worker visa coronavirus updates.
If you need support from Newcastle Immigration Lawyers with your Health and Care Worker visa application, you can get in touch with us on 0191 303 8965 or use the contact form to speak to one of our advisers and receive immediate support with your case.
Who can apply for the Healthcare Worker Visa?
There are a number of eligibility criteria for the UK health and care worker route. If you wish to apply for a health and care visa, you should take note of the code that relates to your eligible job. This is also referred to as the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes.
The list of eligible roles includes the following:
- Biological scientists and biochemists
- Physical scientists
- Medical practitioners
- Ophthalmic opticians
- Dental practitioners
- Medical radiographers
- Health professionals (not elsewhere classified, including occupational health advisers)
- Occupational therapists
- Speech and language therapists
- Therapy professionals
- Social workers
- and other allied health professionals trained in the recognised standards
It is also possible for a Health and Care visa applicant to be employed by a relevant medical or social organisation or industry body in the UK health sector. For example, The General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, etc.
How to apply for Health and Care visa
The application process for the Health and Care Worker visa is similar to other visa applications in that it requires comprehensive preparation and evidence in order to receive a successful decision.
The most important aspect of the Health and Care worker visa process is being issued with your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by your employer. This unique code is required to submit your visa application.
A certificate of Sponsorship is a document that confirms you are employed by or have a job offer from that employer. It includes an explanation of how you meet the Health and Care Visa eligibility requirements, employer details and personal details, including your name, your job and salary details, job start date.
The employer must have authorisation from the Home Office to sponsor the job, which means they should have a sponsor license. The employer may be NHS or an organisation providing medical services to the NHS, adult social care, or services commissioned by the NHS with proof of such contractual arrangements.
Once a qualified doctor, nurse, adult social care professional, or other eligible health professional has completed the online application form for the Health and Care Visa and submitted their supporting documents (see below), they should pay the application fee.
Following the receipt of your Health and Care Worker visa application, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) should request that you either attend an in-person biometric information appointment or provide the relevant information using a smartphone app.
The way that you apply depends on whether you are outside the UK or inside the UK (whether extending or switching the visa). If you wish to change your job or employer, you should submit an application to update the visa.
It is possible to add a dependent partner and child(ren) to your application if they meet the eligibility requirements.
To qualify for the Health and care visa, you must meet the minimum salary requirements. Health and care workers must be paid at least £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour.
Senior care workers, public health managers, and others going for a higher role have a higher going rate.
Also, the health and care worker visa have occupation codes for the eligible jobs. Each occupation code has its own minimum rate and you must earn at least that to qualify for this UK visa. That means, if the going rate or minimum rate is £30,000 but your salary is £28,000, you don’t qualify.
When preparing the care worker visa application, you should show proof of this.
Some health and care visa applicants may qualify if their salary is less than £25,600 per year. A health professional may qualify if:
- The job is on the shortage occupation list
- They are under the age of 26, are in professional training, or a student or recent graduate
- They have a STEM PhD that is relevant to their job
- They have a postdoctoral position in a scientific role
Those health and care workers that fall under the above can be paid between 70% to 90% of the minimum rate provided their salary is at least £20,480 per year. Those with a relevant PhD should have a salary of at least £23,040 per year.
We can help you with this skilled worker route. If you are a healthcare professional looking to immigrate to the UK, call us today on 0191 303 8965 or chat with us via live chat for assistance with obtaining a Health and Care Worker visa.
When submitting your application for the Health and Care Visa, some of the following documents may be required:
- A valid passport or travel document
- Expired passports to show your travel history (where relevant)
- Tuberculosis test results (where relevant)
- Statement from your bank confirming that you have enough personal savings to maintain yourself
- Proof of your level of English language skills (at least level B1 on the CEFR scale)
- Criminal record certificate (where relevant)
There are some exceptions for some people who are nationals of a majority English-speaking country, or who have a degree qualification taught through English. If these situations do not apply to your situation, you should hold a Secure English Language Test result to prove your level.
However, it may be the case that if your language level is already certified by your professional standards body, you may not need to submit further proof of your language abilities when applying for the Health and Care Worker visa.
There is a reduced fee for people who wish to apply for the Health and Care Worker Visa. Below is the cost for the visa for applications made outside the UK as of February 2023:
- Where the applicant chooses to stay for three years or fewer: £247
- Where the applicant chooses to stay for three years or more: £479
Dependents of a healthcare worker in this visa category will also be eligible for reduced visa fees and all are exempt from paying the immigration health surcharge.
For assistance with the health and care visa, reach out to us. We can advise you on the best documents and help prepare a high standard application on your behalf. Call 0191 303 8965 today.
The Health and Care visa category has one of the fastest visa processing times. The majority of applicants for this skilled worker visa can expect to receive a decision within three weeks from the date of submission of their biometric information.
Because this is a valuable visa category, there are dedicated people within the NHS who can support with the application process.
If you are a healthcare professional looking to obtain a health and care visa, our lawyers can help. For more information about how we can assist you, contact us today on 0191 303 8965.
Changing job and the Health and care visa
It is important to abide by the conditions of your stay and not undertake any employment that is not permitted by your approved Health and Care Worker visa.
However, it may be the case that you wish to change your job or employer. In these cases, it will be necessary to update your visa by submitting an application.
You will be issued a new Certificate of Sponsorship by your employer if you are undertaking a new job or changing employers. When you are in receipt of this number, you can then submit your application.
You can also add a second job to your existing visa, but this must be an eligible role and you must receive a new CoS to outline the nature of the work.
In most cases, you should update your visa up to three months before the start date of your new job. You will be asked to submit evidence of your identity and your biometric information. You can apply to update your visa at the Gov.uk link.
Switching to the Health & Care Worker route
You may be eligible to switch to this visa category under certain circumstances. If you are in the UK on an eligible visa, you and your dependents may be able to apply.
Note that if you plan to switch to this visa from a Student visa, one of the following must apply to you:
- You’ve completed the course you were sponsored to study on your Student visa
- The start date of your job is after the completion date of your course
- You’ve been studying for a PhD for at least 24 months
To be considered, you should ensure that your job meets the eligibility requirements and that you have the appropriate skill level in English.
There are some circumstances where you may not switch to this category. This includes the following reasons:
- You hold a Visitor Visa
- You are on a short-term Student Visa or the Parent of a Child Student Visa
- You are on a seasonal worker or domestic worker in a private household visa
- You are on immigration bail
- You were given leave to remain outside immigration rules (e.g., on compassionate grounds)
If the above situations apply to your case, you should first leave the UK and start the Health and Care worker visa process from overseas. You can use the Gov.uk site to switch to a Health and Care Visa.
The Health and Care visa can be difficult to obtain because it’s a new visa category and some applicants may assume they are eligible even when they are not. Our Newcastle Immigration lawyers are trained in all aspects of UK immigration law and always get the latest updates in the immigration system so they can support anyone looking to get this visa.
UK visa processes are complex and the Health and Care Worker visa is no exception. With us, you will navigate through the system with ease. If you decide to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa with our services, we will support you throughout the process.
If you are a healthcare professional looking to immigrate to the UK, we can assess whether you are eligible and advise you on your options. Our lawyers will complete the Health and Care worker visa application on your behalf, help you gather the supporting documents and liaise with the Home Office on your behalf.
Last modified on July 31st, 2023 at 2:23 pm
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A Health and Care visa allows overseas qualified doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and other medical professionals providing medical services to work in the UK on an approved list of occupations in the health and social care sector.
There are some reduced costs and benefits associated with this visa when compared to other visa categories. Many of the roles on the occupation shortage list are in the health and care sectors which means that healthcare workers who want to come to the UK are in high demand.
The UK government allows immediate family members (spouse and dependent children) to come to the UK to join their partner/ parent on this visa. There are separate applications involved in this process. If the visa holder is already in the UK and wants to apply for their family members to join them, it is possible to submit an application to do so. Approval and entry clearance is at the discretion of the immigration authorities.
For assistance with obtaining the Health and Care Worker visa and a visa for your dependents, reach out to our care worker visa lawyers on 0191 303 8965 for immediate assistance.
Most visa holders will have to pay the immigration health surcharge when coming to the UK. However, health and social care workers and their dependents do not have to pay the immigration health charge. If a visa holder has already paid this fee, they may be entitled to apply for reimbursement.
The Home Office usually approves health and care visas with a validity period that ends 14 days after the end date of the Certificate of Sponsorship (COS).
The validity of the COS is usually stated in it and can last up to 5 years. The start date of a COS should be no more than three months from the date of your Health and Care Worker visa application. Also, your COS should have a confirmation that it has not been used in a previous application that was granted or refused and hasn’t yet been withdrawn by the organisation or cancelled by the Home Office
Healthcare workers can extend their visa as long as they still meet the salary requirements, have an eligible job in the same occupation code, and work for the same employer who issued their current COS.