The UK Health and Care Worker visa is a type of Skilled Worker visa that allows medical professionals to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job.
For Health and Care Worker visa, the applicant must be sponsored by NHS, an NHS supplier or an organisation providing adult social care to do an eligible job.
Table of Contents
- What is a Health and Care Worker visa?
- What are the Health and Care Worker visa requirements?
- Minimum salary requirement
- Financial maintenance requirement
- Certificate of sponsorship requirement
- English language requirement
- Documents required for a Health and Care Worker visa
- How to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa?
- Extend your Health and Care Worker visa
- Switch to a Health and Care Worker visa
- ILR as a Health and Care Worker
- Family members (PBS dependent visa)
- UK Health and Care Worker visa processing time
- UK Health and Care Worker visa application fees
- How can an immigration lawyer help you?
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Need legal advice or help from an immigration lawyer?
What is a Health and Care Worker visa?
The Health and Care Worker visa is a type of work visa that was introduced by the UK government in August 2020. It is intended to make it easier for qualified doctors, nurses and other health professionals to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.
The visa is also available to other health and care professionals, including midwives, social workers and pharmacists.
The Health and Care Worker visa is open for medical professionals such as qualified doctors, and nurses The Health and Care visa is part of the Skilled Worker visa. You must meet the requirements of the Skilled Worker visa in addition to the requirements set out in this guide to be eligible for the Health and Care visa.
To be eligible for the Health and Care Worker visa, applicants must have a job offer from a UK employer in the health or social care sector, and be able to demonstrate that they have the required qualifications, skills, and English language ability to do the job.
The visa allows holders to work in the UK for up to five years and can be extended beyond that time. It also provides a pathway to settlement in the UK, meaning that holders can eventually apply to become permanent residents.
The Health and Care Worker visa has been introduced as part of the UK government's efforts to attract and retain skilled health professionals from around the world, and to address shortages in the sector.
What are the Health and Care Worker visa requirements?
To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa in the UK, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Job offer: The applicant must have a job offer from a UK employer in the health or social care sector. The job offer must meet the minimum skill and salary requirements for the visa.
- Qualifications: The applicant must have the necessary qualifications, skills, and experience to do the job. This may include a degree or professional qualification, as well as relevant work experience.
- English language: The applicant must be able to speak, read, write and understand English to the required level. This may be demonstrated by passing an approved English language test, or by having a degree taught in English.
- Criminal records check: The applicant must provide a criminal records certificate from any country they have lived in for more than 12 months in the last 10 years.
- Maintenance funds: The applicant must have enough money to support themselves and any dependents without needing to rely on public funds. This is currently set at £1,270 for the main applicant, plus an additional £285 for each dependent.
You must also meet all the other eligibility requirements depending on type of application and your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options.
Minimum salary requirement
The Health and Care Worker visa has a minimum salary requirement that an employer must pay to sponsor a migrant worker. The minimum salary requirement varies depending on the job the individual is applying for and their skill level.
The current annual general salary threshold for a Health and Care Worker visa is £26,200 per year or £10.75 per hour, whichever is higher.
Each occupation code has its own annual going rate. Check the going rate for your job in the going rates table.
Financial maintenance requirement
The financial maintenance requirement is an important eligibility criterion for the Health and Care Worker visa, which requires that an individual must be able to support themselves while living in the UK.
The applicant must have enough money to cover their living costs, including accommodation, food, and other expenses, without relying on public funds.
You'll usually need to have at least £1,270 for a period of 28 days if they are applying from outside the UK, or £945 for a period of 90 days if they are applying from inside the UK.
Certificate of sponsorship requirement
The employer is required to include a brief explanation in the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) setting out how the employee meets the Health and Care visa eligibility requirement.
The employer will also be responsible for informing the applicant they are eligible for the Health and Care visa so the applicant can correctly complete the visa application form.
Where an employer is an organisation that provides services commissioned by the NHS, evidence of the contract arrangements with the NHS may need to be provided to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as proof that applicants are eligible to apply for a Health and Care visa.
English language requirement
You must prove you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
If the applicant has completed a degree-level course that was taught in English, they may be exempt from the English language test requirement.
If an applicant is a citizen of a country where English is the majority language, they will automatically meet the English language requirement.
Documents required for a Health and Care Worker visa
To apply for a Health and Care Worker visa in the UK, an applicant must submit several documents, including:
- A valid passport or other travel documents
- Certificate of Sponsorship
- your job title and annual salary
- your job's occupation code
- the name of your employer and their sponsor licence number
- Evidence that you meet the financial requirement
- Evidence of your knowledge of the English language
- Proof of any dependent family members (if applicable)
- Tuberculosis (TB) test results (if applicable)
- Criminal record certificate
This is a general list of documents. Depending on type of application and your personal circumstances, you might also need to provide additional documents.
Please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and find out the required list of documents in support of your application.
How to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa?
To apply for a Health and Care Worker visa in the UK, you can follow the steps below:
- Check your eligibility: Make sure that you meet all the eligibility requirements for the visa, including having a job offer from a UK employer in the health or social care sector, the necessary qualifications and experience, and the required English language ability.
- Apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship: Your employer will need to apply for a Certificate of Sponsorship on your behalf. This is a unique reference number that confirms they are able to sponsor you for the visa.
- Complete the online application form: You can apply for the Health and Care Worker visa online through the UK government's website. You'll need to complete the application form and provide all the required information and documentation.
- Pay the application fee: There is a fee for the Health and Care Worker visa, which varies depending on the length of your stay in the UK.
- Provide biometric information: You will need to provide your fingerprints and a photograph as part of the application process.
- Attend an appointment at a visa application centre: Depending on your country of residence, you may be required to attend an appointment at a visa application centre to provide biometric information and submit your application.
- Wait for a decision: After you have submitted your application, you will receive a decision from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) on whether your application has been successful.
It's important to note that the application process may vary depending on your individual circumstances, and there may be additional requirements or steps you need to take. It's recommended to seek professional advice for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
Extend your Health and Care Worker visa
If an individual is currently in the UK on a Health and Care Worker visa and wants to extend their stay, they may be able to apply for a visa extension or renewal. The application process will depend on their circumstances.
To extend a Health and Care Worker visa, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
- You must apply before your current visa expires.
- You have the same job as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK.
- Your job is in the same occupation code as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK.
- You still meet the minimum salary requirements.
- You're still working for the employer who gave you your current certificate of sponsorship.
Applicants must provide a new certificate of sponsorship from their UK employer and meet the same requirements they met when they applied for their initial visa, including English language proficiency, financial requirements, and skill level.
Switch to a Health and Care Worker visa
You can switch to a Health and Care Worker visa from certain other visa categories while in the UK, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. You must have a job offer from a UK employer who is a licensed sponsor.
It's important to note that switching to a Health and Care Worker visa from some other visa categories may not be possible. Applicants should always consult an immigration lawyer for the most up-to-date information and specific eligibility requirements for switching to a Health and Care Worker visa.
Who cannot apply to switch to this visa?
You cannot apply to switch to Health and Care Worker visa if you're currently in the UK:
- on a visitor or tourist visa
- on a student visitor visa (short-term study)
- on a Parent of a Child Student visa
- on a seasonal worker visa
- on a domestic worker in a private household visa
- on immigration bail
- because you were given permission to stay outside the immigration rules, for example on compassionate grounds
ILR as a Health and Care Worker
As a Health and Care worker, you may be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after you have spent 5 continuous years in the UK on a Health and Care Worker visa.
Once you are granted ILR as a Health and Care worker, you can stay in the UK indefinitely and work in any job or industry without the need for a work permit. You may also be eligible to apply for British citizenship after a certain period of time.
Family members (PBS dependent visa)
Your family members (a partner or children) will need to apply for the Health and Care Worker dependent visas separately. Your dependents can either apply at the same time as you or at any time before their current visa expires.
The family members include your husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried/same-sex partner or your child under 18 years old (including if they were born in the UK during your stay).
UK Health and Care Worker visa processing time
Once you have applied online and attended your biometrics appointment, you'll usually get a decision on your Health and Care Worker visa within:
- 3 weeks, if applying using standard service
- 5 working days, if applying using priority service
- 24 hours, if applying using super priority service
Super Priority Service
You may be eligible to use the 'super priority service' to get a faster decision by the end of the next working day (within 24 hours). You'll need to pay £1,000 in addition to the UK visa application fee.
You may be able to choose the 'priority service' when you apply for a UK visa to get a faster decision within 5 working days. You'll need to pay £500 in addition to the UK visa application fee.
When you apply, you might be eligible to choose the 'super priority service' or 'priority service' to get your visa faster depending on the type of application and what country you're in.
UK Health and Care Worker visa application fees
Health and Care Worker visa fees are:
- £247 per person (up to 3 years)
- £479 per person (more than 3 years)
The Health and Care Worker visa fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK.
You and your dependants will also be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and you should always check the most up-to-date information on the UK government's official website before applying for a visa.
How much does it cost to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa in the UK?
The cost of a UK visa application varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for, your location and the type of service such as 'standard service', 'super priority service', or 'priority service'.
Here are some common costs associated with applying for a UK visa:
- £247 or £479 Health and Care Worker visa application fee
- £19.20 Biometrics fee (if applying from inside the UK)
- £1,000 in addition to the visa fee if using the super priority service
- £500 in addition to the visa fee if using the priority service
- English language test fee (if required)
- Immigration lawyer fees (if using legal services to boost your chances of success & avoid mistakes)
Please note that the above is a general list of costs associated with UK visa applications. There may be additional costs such tuberculosis ( TB ) test fee depending on your circumstances.
Immigration lawyer fees
Our expert UK immigration lawyer will guide you through every step of the UK visa application process including advice about legal requirements and eligibility criteria.
At Rex Law Chambers, our immigration lawyer charges a fixed fee between £800-£1000 for our complete legal services in relation to your Health and Care Worker visa application. The agreed fixed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
How can an immigration lawyer help you?
As part of our immigration services for your immigration application, our expert immigration lawyer will:
- assess your eligibility for the relevant visa type by fully considering your circumstances;
- advise you on the required supporting documents to be submitted in support of your immigration application;
- assess all the documents to ensure that the documents you provide are as per the requirements of the Immigration Rules;
- advise you on strengths and potential weaknesses in your visa application and how you can overcome such weaknesses if any;
- complete the online immigration draft application form to share it with you for cross-checking;
- submit your application online and schedule your biometrics appointments with the relevant commercial partner of the UKVI;
- prepare a detailed cover letter in support of the immigration application explaining in detail how you are meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Rules so that you have the maximum chances of succeeding in your visa application;
- upload all the supporting documents online in support of the immigration application in their correct format and order;
- dealing and responding to any caseworker enquiries or correspondence from the Home Office caseworker for any further documents or information concerning your pending immigration application;
- do all the follow-up work on your immigration application until a decision is received from the Home Office UKVI.
Contact our experienced and friendly immigration lawyer on 0161 989 9370 or fill in our enquiry form to get reliable & confidential immigration advice and legal assistance with a UK visa application or any other immigration matter.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Here are some commonly asked questions about Health and Care Worker visa:
To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, you must have a job offer from an approved employer in the health or social care sector. It means you must have a confirmed job offer from a UK company that holds a sponsorship licence.
As Health and Care Worker visa is part of the Skilled Worker visa, applicants must meet the requirements of the Skilled Worker visa and all other eligibility requirements depending on their circumstances.
You may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) (known as 'Settlement'), once you have completed 5 continuous years in the UK as a Health and Care Worker.
You must apply online for a UK Health and Care Worker visa. You need to upload all the supporting documents, attend biometric appointment and pay the correct visa application & IHS fees.