Health and Care Worker Visa

The Health and Care Worker visa is for medical professionals who wish to undertake employment in the UK for the National Health Service (NHS), an NHS supplier or within the adult social care sector.

While there are strict eligibility criteria for this type of visa, it is one of the immigration routes that can lead to settlement in the UK, so if you aim to work in the UK health sector on a more permanent basis, this may be the right option for you. However, there may also be other appropriate UK visas that will serve your needs, so it is worthwhile to speak to specialist legal representatives like the experts at Latitude Law before you begin your application.

To speak to a solicitor about making a Health and Care Worker visa application, call us on 0044 161 234 6800 or 0044 207 046 7185, or fill in our contact form to request a call back.


The key requirements for the Health and Care Worker visa

In order to qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa, you must fulfil all of the following criteria:

  • Be aged 18 or over.
  • Be a qualified health professional, e.g. a doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional.
  • Have a confirmed job offer from a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office to sponsor overseas workers. The job must be on the Home Office’s list of eligible Health and Care occupation codes and the salary must meet the minimum salary requirements set out under the Health and Care Worker visa route.
  • Meet the relevant English language requirement.
  • Provide a criminal record certificate, if you are applying from outside of the UK and will be working with vulnerable people.
  • Provide a valid TB certificate, if you are from a listed country.

In order to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa, the job offer must be from one of the following approved sponsors:

  • The NHS;
  • An organisation providing medical services to the NHS; or
  • An organisation providing adult social care.

These conditions are strict and it can be difficult to ensure that you meet all of the necessary requirements when making an application, particularly as the criteria listed above are not the only eligibility considerations, as detailed below. For this reason, it is recommended that you work alongside expert immigration lawyers throughout the process to maximise your chances of succeeding in your visa application.

Satisfying the Points Based System requirements

Similar to the skilled worker route, you will be required to satisfy the relevant Points Based System criteria.

Certificate of Sponsorship

In order to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa, you must be issued with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) by an approved Home Office-licensed sponsor, such as the NHS.

You will not be able to submit an online application for a Health and Care Worker visa without the relevant CoS reference number, which will be stated on the CoS.

The CoS is an electronic record, rather than a physical document, and it will include information such as your contact details, job, salary, employment start date and a brief explanation of how you will meet the Health and Care visa eligibility requirements.

Eligible job offer

All eligible Health and Care Worker roles must meet the relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Codes criteria. A list of all eligible roles can be found here.

English language requirement

You will be required to satisfy the English language requirement by passing a Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) test at Level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

You will not be required to prove your knowledge of English if you have already passed an English Language assessment that is accepted by the relevant regulated professional body – for example, if you have been assessed by the General Medical or Dental Councils.

You will also be exempt from meeting the English language requirement if you are from a majority English-speaking country as listed within the Immigration Rules.

Salary

You will usually be required to receive a minimum salary of at least £20,480 per year, or the going rate for the type of work you will be doing, whichever is higher.

The going rates of pay for Health and Care Worker occupations are taken from national NHS pay scale bandings, and unlike skilled worker applications, no discounts to the going rates are available.

The going rates for Health and Care Worker visas are typically based on a 37.5-hour week and they must be prorated for other working patterns, based on the weekly working hours stated by the sponsor.

Maintenance requirements for the Health and Care Worker visas

You must show that you have personal savings of at least £1,270, which must have been held for at least 28 days before the date of your application.

However, if your sponsor is an ‘A-rated sponsor’, they can certify your maintenance up to the end of your first month of employment in the UK. If your sponsor certifies maintenance on the CoS, you will not be required to provide any evidence of your finances.

Furthermore, you will not be required to meet the maintenance requirement if you have had permission to stay in the UK for more than 12 months.

Criminal Records Certificate

As part of the Health and Care Worker visa, you will be required to provide a criminal record certificate, unless your job falls within the categories of biological scientist, biochemist scientist or physical scientist.

If you are under the age of 28, you will need to provide a criminal record certificate from any country in which you have lived for a total of 12 months or more since you turned 18.

If you are aged 28 or over, you will need to provide a criminal record certificate from any country that you have lived in over the last 10 years.

Contact Us

If you need support or advice on any matters relating to a Health and Care Worker visa application, information on how health and care workers on different immigration routes can switch into this route, or insight into how this visa can lead to permanent settlement in the UK, get in touch with us today.

Latitude Law’s specialist firm of immigration lawyers has significant expertise in supporting applications and securing visas for healthcare professionals and care workers to come to the UK.

Contact us today to arrange an initial consultation in relation to a Health and Care Worker visa application. Call 0044 161 234 6800 or 0044 207 046 7185. Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you shortly.

Health and Care Worker Visa FAQs

How long can you remain in the UK on a Health and Care visa?

There is no limit on the amount of time you can spend in the UK on a Health and Care worker visa.

Can the Health and Care visa route lead to settlement in the UK?

You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after completing five years in the UK as a Health and Care Worker.

Your family members may also be eligible to apply for settlement after completing five years in the UK.

How soon can you apply for a Health and Care worker visa?

You must apply no more than three months before the employment start date recorded on the CoS.

The CoS must also be used within three months from the date of issue.

Can your family members accompany or join in the UK?

The Health and Care Worker visa allows family members to accompany you to the UK or join you if you’re already in the UK.

What are the key benefits of applying for a Health and Care Worker visa?

Apart from reduced visa application fees and a fast-tracked visa application process, Health and Care visa applicants will be exempt from paying an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee.

The reduced visa application fees will also apply to family members of health workers under this visa.

Can you switch into the Health and Care Worker route?

If you are in the UK on another immigration route, you are permitted to switch to the Health and Care Worker route if you meet all the relevant immigration requirements and are not in the UK on any of the following routes:

  • Visitor
  • Short-term student
  • Parent of a child student
  • Seasonal worker
  • Domestic worker in a private household
  • Outside the Immigration Rules

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All content on this page was reviewed by Latitude Law and is accurate as of 05/10/2022