The UK Healthcare Visa is a less expensive, faster, and easier way designed for healthcare professionals worldwide to work in the UK health sector. If you qualify for the Health and Care Visa, you will be able to apply to live and work in the UK at a lower cost than other visa options and avoid the Immigration Health Surcharge.

The essential requirements and details of the Health and Care Worker visa route to finding work in the UK have been outlined below; keep reading. 

Who is eligible for a Health and Care visa?

Only qualified doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals working in eligible roles in the UK health sector are eligible for the Health and Care Visa. In addition to meeting the job requirements, you must also meet several other criteria to qualify for the visa.

If you meet the following eligibility requirements, you may be granted a Health and Care Visa:

  • You are a licensed doctor, nurse, health care provider, or adult social worker.
  • You’ve received a job offer from a UK employer.
  • Your UK employer has provided you with a Certificate of Sponsorship, which contains information about the position you have been offered.
  • You meet the salary requirements, which vary depending on the type of role you will be performing.
  • You are at least 18 years old.
  • You are employed or will be employed in an eligible health or social care occupation that is listed among the approved occupation codes.
  • You have sufficient funds to support yourself without relying on government assistance.
  • You have provided a criminal record certificate if working with vulnerable people.
  • If you’re from one of the countries on the list, you’ve provided a valid tuberculosis certificate.
  • You have at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0) English language proficiency.
  • Reference from your former employer.

English Language Requirement

To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, you must demonstrate English language ability at least at level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all four components (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) 

Applicants for entry clearance or leave to remain as a Health and Care Worker will be able to meet the English language requirement if they:

  • Are a citizen of a country with a large English-speaking population
  •  Have passed a Secure English Language Test administered by an approved provider
  •  Have received a degree-level academic qualification taught in English.
  • While attending school in the UK, they obtained a GCSE/A Level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Highers, or Advanced Higher in English; or they have already demonstrated that they met the level B1 requirement in a previous successful application for entry clearance or permission to stay.

Suppose you are being sponsored to work as a doctor, dentist, nurse, or midwife. In that case, you do not need to demonstrate your knowledge of English if you have already passed an English language assessment accepted by the relevant professional regulatory body.

Healthcare workers on duty

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge is a fee that international workers in the UK must pay to use NHS services. Tier 2/Skilled Worker Visa holders and their dependents are no longer required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). Other visas continue to incur an IHS fee. If you are unsure whether you must pay the IHS, please visit the website and look under Who Must Pay.

Meanwhile, the UK government has announced that all overseas health and care workers and their dependents will no longer be subject to the Immigration Health Surcharge. You and your dependents will be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge if you are eligible for the Health and Care Visa.

How do I apply for the Health and Care visa?

The first thing you should do is start looking for healthcare jobs in the UK because you can’t apply for a visa without a job. Once you’ve finished the job search, you go through the interview, and if you scale through, the company offers you a job and a certificate of Sponsorship, and you can start your application process. This will include a unique reference number. Then you’ll need to fill out an application on the Home Office’s website. After you’ve filled out all of the required information, the next step in the application process is to pay the necessary fee. In addition, you will be required to submit several documents in support of your application. The Home Office will review your application and offer you one of the following options:

If you cannot reuse any biometrics from a previous application, make a biometrics appointment, or you will be given instructions on how to enrol biometrics using an ID app.

To search for companies with tier 2 sponsorship:

For sponsorship jobs :

Free Certification in health :

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirement

You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you intend to obtain a Health and Care Worker Visa. This is a digital record, not a physical document. An employer must issue your Certificate of Sponsorship the Home Office authorises to sponsor the job in question through the Health and Care Worker route. The NHS, an organization that provides medical services to the NHS, or an organisation that provides adult social care, will be the most common employers. If an employer is not currently approved, they can apply for a Sponsor Licence to meet the requirements. Your employer must include a brief explanation in the Certificate of Sponsorship outlining how you met the Health and Care Visa eligibility requirement. When an employer is an organization that provides services commissioned by the NHS, evidence of any contractual arrangements with the NHS may be required to be disclosed.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship must have been issued no more than three months before the date of your visa application for Health and Care Workers. Also, your certificate must have certain mandatory information, including: 

  • details of your name, job, and salary
  • a start date which is no more than three months after the date your Health and Care Worker visa application
  • confirmation that the Certificate of Sponsorship has not been used in a previous application; which was either granted or refused and has not been withdrawn by the sponsor or cancelled by the Home Office

    Healthcare workers

Can my partner join me in the UK?

Immediate family members will be allowed to accompany or join you in the UK if you apply for a Health Care visa. This includes your spouse or partner and any children who are dependent on you.

If you are already in the UK and want to bring your family members with you, your UK sponsor must provide written confirmation that your family member is eligible to do so based on your occupation. This should be in the form of a letter or email from the sponsor outlining the organisation for which you work and how the organisation qualifies if it is not an NHS body.

Health and Care Worker Visa Occupational Codes

The following are the relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Codes that meet the requirements for the Health and Care Worker visa:

  • 1181: health services and public health managers and directors
  • 1242: residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
  • 2112: biological scientists and biochemists
  • 2113: physical scientists
  • 2211: medical practitioners
  • 2212: psychologists
  • 2213: pharmacists
  • 2214: ophthalmic opticians
  • 2215: dental practitioners
  • 2217: medical radiographers
  • 2218: podiatrists
  • 2219: health professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as audiologists and occupational health advisers
  • 2221: physiotherapists
  • 2222: occupational therapists
  • 2223: speech and language therapists
  • 2229: therapy professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as osteopaths and psychotherapists
  • 2231: nurses
  • 2232: midwives
  • 2442: social workers
  • 3111: laboratory technicians
  • 3213: paramedics
  • 3216: dispensing opticians
  • 3217: pharmaceutical technicians
  • 3218: medical and dental technicians
  • 3219: health associate professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 6141: nursing auxiliaries and assistants
  • 6143: dental nurses
  • 6146: senior care workers

    Healthcare giver

What are the Health and Care visa processing times?

UK Visas and Immigration will prioritize and quicken your Health and Care visa application once received.

As a result, most healthcare professionals who apply through this route can usually expect a decision within three weeks of submitting their biometric data. This is much faster than the current processing time for skilled worker visas, which can take anywhere from eight to twenty weeks. However, due to the pandemic, UKVI processing is still experiencing delays, so it’s best to get advice on current processing times before submitting your application.

A dedicated NHS support and visa processing team is also available, allowing visa applicants and sponsors to contact UKVI’s specialist team if they have any problems with the application process or eligibility for the Health and Care visa.

What can I do on a Health and Care Worker Visa?

There are specific immigration rules that you must follow if you are in the UK on a Health and Care Visa. You are permitted to do the following with this visa:

  • Work in an eligible job
  • Do voluntary work
  • Take on additional work (only in some circumstances)
  • Study
  • Bring your partner and dependent children to join you
  • Travel in and out of the UK
  • Apply for ILR after five years

While this visa allows you to do many things in the UK, it does have some limitations. For example, you can’t access most public funds or the state pension, and you can’t change jobs unless you update your visa.

Healthcare workers on duty

Duration of a Health and Care Worker Visa

Suppose your application for a Health and Care Worker Visa is accepted. In that case, you will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for 14 days after your Certificate of Sponsorship expires (which may be up to a maximum of 5 years after the start date of your Certificate of Sponsorship). Your sponsorship certificate will state the length of time your employer will sponsor you.

However, you can apply to have your Health and Care Worker visa extended if you continue to meet the salary requirements and:

  • You have the same job as when you were granted permission to enter or remain in the UK previously; or
  • Your job has the same occupation code as when you were granted permission to enter or remain in the UK previously; or
  • You work for the same company that issued your current sponsorship certificate.

Financial Maintenance Requirement

To prove that you can support yourself in the UK, you must have cash funds of at least £1,270 available. In addition, you must have kept the money for at least 28 days, ending no more than 31 days before your Health and Care Worker Visa application deadline. You will meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds if you are applying for permission to stay and have been in the UK for 12 months or more at the time of application.

You will also be exempt if your employer can cover at least £1,270 of your costs during your first month in the UK. By filling out the ‘Sponsor certifies maintenance’ section on your Certificate of Sponsorship, your sponsor will confirm this.

medical homecare giver

Conditions of Stay as a Health and Care Worker

  • As a Health and Care Worker Visa holder, you can work in the position you have been hired for. You may also work part-time if you keep working in the job for which you are being sponsored, and the additional work is in the same occupation code or is less than 20 paid hours per week.
  • Most benefits and the State Pension are not available to you.
  •  If you don’t update your visa, you won’t change jobs or employers.
  • You will need to apply to update your Health and Care Worker visa if:
  1. You want to change jobs, and your new job is with a different employer. 
  2. Your job changes to a different occupation code, and you are not in a graduate training program.
  3. You leave a job that is on the shortage occupation list for a job that is not on the list.
  4. You will be working more than 20 hours per week or in a different occupation code.

This will necessitate a new sponsorship certificate from your second employer, as well as a letter explaining why you want to change your current stay permissions.

Below are links to some Companies that sponsor the UK Health and care workers’ visas. 

Health and care workers

So, I stumbled on this on the internet and thought it could help when applying for visas. 

Mistakes you MUST never make during VISA applications. 

  • Applying too close to travel date
  • Having a Damaged Passport
  • No travel Insurance
  • Inadequate funds to support your trip
  • Submitting unattested bank statements 
  • Not providing proof of accommodation 
  • Not having a clear purpose or creating an itinerary 
  • Not disclosing a past or current criminal record
  • Providing false documents that don’t match the information provided 
  • Not providing proof of economic ties to your home country

There you have it. Everything you need to know about the UK Healthcare Visa. Do you have questions that have not been answered in this post? Kindly comment below with those questions as we are readily available to answer them. Wishing you the best in your visa application!

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