Health & Care Worker Visa - Applications & Guidance
The UK Health and Care Worker visa is a new visa route aimed at medical professionals who wish to work in the UK for the NHS, for an NHS supplier or in adult social care.
If you qualify under the terms of this visa, you will be able to work in an eligible job, study in the UK and bring your partner and children with you if they qualify. It can lead to the opportunity to apply to settle permanently in the UK after five years.
At IBB Law, we represent a full range of healthcare workers, securing visas for them to live and work in the UK. We have exceptional expertise in dealing with complex visa application requirements and are known for our strong track record of success for our clients.
As well as excellent legal understanding of the visa application system, our immigration team provide the highest level of service. We can work with you to ensure you have selected the best visa route to the UK, and we will assist you throughout the application process, answering your questions and dealing quickly and efficiently with any complications.
We can provide advice in respect of all types of UK visas, and if your visa application has been refused, we can advise you of any available alternatives. We can also represent you in due course if you wish to apply to settle in the UK permanently.
Complete support for UK Health and Care Worker visa applications
We provide Health and Care Worker visa guidance for our clients throughout the application process, including:
- Assessing eligibility and providing Health and Care Worker visa guidance
- Completing a Health and Care Worker visa application on your behalf
- Compiling all necessary documents to accompany your application
- Advice in respect of Health and Care Worker visa rejection or refusal
- Renewing a Health and Care Skilled Worker visa
Why choose IBB Law for help with applying for a Health and Care Worker visa in the UK?
Our expert immigration team at IBB Law provide the following service and immigration expertise:
- Exceptional knowledge of both applicable immigration law and the process of obtaining visas from the UK Visas and Immigration department
- Leading service from our experts throughout your application together with the advice you need to make the right choices for your situation
- A competitive service, efficiently delivered, with outstanding attention to detail
- Expert immigration solicitors accredited by leading independent legal directory, The Legal 500, for the high level of service and knowledge they offer in the area of immigration law
Looking for immediate help with a UK Health and Care Worker visa application?
At IBB Law, we can provide comprehensive Health and Care Worker visa guidance and representation, giving you the best possible chance of obtaining a visa to live and work in the UK.
How to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa
In the guide below is more information on the following key areas:
- Making a Health and Care Worker visa application
- UK Health and Care Worker visa refusals and rejections
- Renewing a Health and Care Worker visa
- Alternatives to a Health and Care Worker visa
- Health and Care Worker visa fees
- What rights does a Health and Care Worker visa give you?
- Health and Care Worker visa requirements
- Supporting documents for a Health and Care Worker visa application
- How long does it take to get a Health and Care Worker visa?
- Who is eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa?
- What is the difference between a Health and Care Worker visa and a Skilled Worker visa?
- Does the NHS sponsor Health and Care Worker visas?
- Does a Health and Care Worker visa count towards ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)?
Making a Health and Care Worker visa application
An application for a Health and Care Worker visa in the UK needs to be made online. You can apply from outside of the UK or if you are already in the UK, you can make an application to extend your existing visa or switch from a different visa.
Your application can be made up to three months before the day you would like to start work in the UK, and you should receive a decision within three weeks of providing all of the necessary documents, including proof of your identity.
UK Health and Care Worker visa refusals and rejections
If you receive a Health and Care Worker visa refusal or rejection, you may be able to apply online for an administrative review. A review may be possible if you believe that the decision reached was not correct, for example, because it was believed that your documentation was not genuine, your application was submitted out of time, the immigration rules were not correctly applied, or the government’s stated policy and guidance was not properly followed.
Where you made mistakes in completing your original application, it may be possible to submit a fresh application. We can advise you of your options and also help to ensure that any new application is correct and has the right documents in support.
Renewing a Health and Care Worker visa
A Health and Care Worker visa can be valid for up to five years. After this point, you can renew or extend it in the following circumstances:
- You still hold the same job as when you originally secured your visa
- The job still has the same occupation code
- You are still working for the employer who provided you with your existing certificate of sponsorship
- You continue to meet the salary requirements for the visa
If your partner or children have come to the UK with you, they will need to apply separately to extend their visa.
Where you have changed your job or your employer, you should make an application to update your visa. This includes the following circumstances:
- You wish to move to a new job with a different employer
- Your occupation changes, so that a different occupation code applies, and you are not in a graduate training programme
- You switch to a job that is not on the government’s shortage occupation list
If you stay in the same job but the occupation is removed from the shortage occupation list, you do not need to apply to update your visa.
If you move to a different job with the same employer, you will only need to update your visa if the occupation code changes.
It is open to you to apply to extend your visa as many times as you like, provided you are still eligible.
Alternatives to a Health and Care Worker visa
If you do not qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa, there may be other options open to you, such as a UK Skilled Worker visa. If you give us a ring, we can discuss whether this might be a possible immigration route for you.
Health and Care Worker visa fees
If you intend to stay in the UK for up to three years, the Health and Care Worker visa application fee is £247.
Where you wish to stay in the UK for longer than three years, the fee is £479.
You will also need to prove that you have sufficient money to support yourself by having a minimum of £1,270 in your bank account. This should have been there for at least 28 days in a row, and day 28 should be within 31 days of the date of your visa application.
What rights does a Health and Care Worker visa give you?
If you are granted a Health and Care Worker visa, you can:
- Work in the job that you have been offered or another eligible job, subject to applying to transfer jobs where necessary
- Take on a second job in addition to the job you have been sponsored for where it has the same occupation code, is at the same level, is a shortage occupation and is for up to 20 hours per week
- Do voluntary work
- Bring your partner and children with you, if they are eligible
- Leave and return to the UK
- Apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK after five years, if you are eligible
Most benefits will not be available to you, including the state pension.
Health and Care Worker visa requirements
As well as satisfying the eligibility criteria below, you will need to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the first month in the UK and that your job meets the salary requirements.
This is generally a minimum of £25,600 or £10.10 per hour, whichever is higher. Where the going rate for your job is higher than this, then you should receive the going rate. You can check how much this is for your occupation on the government’s website.
Where the salary offered is below £25,600 or the usual rate, provided you are paid at least £10.10 per hour.
In the following situations, you can be paid 70-90% of the usual going rate for your job, provided you are paid at least £20,480 per year:
- The job is on the shortage occupation list
- You are under 26, studying, you have graduated recently, or you are undertaking professional training
- You have a PhD-level qualification in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or maths) subject that is relevant to your job
- You hold a postdoctoral position in a scientific role
Where your job is on the shortage occupation list, you can be paid 80% of the going rate.
Supporting documents for a Health and Care Worker visa application
You are likely to have to provide a substantial amount of documentation to prove your eligibility, including the following:
- The reference number from your certificate of sponsorship, which will be provided by your employer
- Evidence that your English is at a sufficient standard, can be provided by taking a Secure English Language Test or by holding certain qualifications in English
- A valid passport or other identity and nationality document. This should generally have a blank page available for the visa to be added
- Details of your job, including job title, job occupation code, the salary you will be paid and your employer’s name and sponsor licence number
- Bank statements showing that you have sufficient personal savings to support yourself
- Tuberculosis test results, if you are from an affected country
If you have dependants, such as a partner and children, who will also be applying for a visa, you will need to provide documentary evidence of your relationship with them.
How long does it take to get a Health and Care Worker visa?
It may take some time to gather the necessary documentation for your application for a Health and Care Worker visa in the UK, so you are generally advised to start the process well in advance, particularly if you are likely to need to attend an appointment as part of the visa application process.
The application can be submitted up to three months before your anticipated start date, which will be noted on your certificate of sponsorship. You will be advised whether you need to attend an appointment when you start your visa application.
Once UK Visas and Immigration have all the necessary documents together with your application and proof of identity, they aim to give you a decision within three weeks.
In some circumstances, you may be able to pay for a faster decision.
Who is eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa?
To qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa, you should satisfy the following criteria:
- You are a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
- You work in an eligible health or social care job
- Your UK employer has Home Office approval to offer a job under this type of visa
- Your employer can provide you with a certificate of sponsorship which contains information about the job you will take up in the UK
- You will receive a minimum salary for the type of work you do
- You have an acceptable standard of English
To check that your job is eligible, you need to check its four-digit occupation code against the government’s list of eligible jobs.
What is the difference between a Health and Care Worker visa and a Skilled Worker visa?
A Health and Care Worker visa is specifically aimed at workers in the health industry. It has similar criteria to a Skilled Worker visa but a lower application fee. NHS workers are also exempt from paying the NHS surcharge, which is usually £624 for each year that you are in the UK.
Does the NHS sponsor Health and Care Worker visas?
The NHS sponsors individuals who wish to come to the UK to work under a Health and Care Worker visa through its trusts and other bodies. An NHS supply company can also be a valid Health and Care Worker visa sponsor, as well as businesses employing adult social care staff.
Does a Health and Care Worker visa count towards ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)?
Time spent in the UK under a Skilled Worker Health and Care visa can be counted towards Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILR. Once you have spent five years in the UK, you can apply, provided you meet the salary requirements and are still needed for the job you came to do.
For more information in respect of our services, see UK business immigration lawyers.
Get immediate expert advice on applying for a Health and Care Worker visa
If you need expert advice and guidance in respect of your Health and Care Worker visa application form, our highly experienced business immigration team will be happy to assist.