Those who want to access the UK to carry out a medical or care-based role can do so through the Health and Care Worker Visa. It allows those who have secured an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier, or adult social care to stay in the UK for up to 5 years.
It can be applied for from outside the UK as well as inside the UK, and you may switch from another visa to the Health and Care Worker Visa. You may bring dependents so long as you meet the requirements to do so.
The Health and Care Worker Visa offers a clear route to ILR (Indefinite Leave To Remain) through 5 years of continuous residency in the UK. This will provide migrants with the eligibility to pursue British Citizenship later down the road.
Health and Care Worker Visa requirements
To successfully apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa, you must make sure that you meet all of the relevant requirements. This may include more general requirements such as an acceptable knowledge of English, and evidence that you can financially support yourself and any dependants that you may bring.
There are further requirements that you must meet to receive this visa such as a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer and proof that you meet the specified salary requirements for your job.
Please note that there are certain exemptions for doctors, dentists, nurses, or midwives.
- Have a level of English that meets or exceeds level B1 on the CEFR scale (doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives exempt if you’ve already passed an English Language assessment that is accepted by the relevant regulated professional body).
- Have proof of available finances to support yourself as well as any dependants that you wish to bring along.
- Be able to prove that your relationship with any dependants that you wish to bring along is legitimate.
The financial requirements that you must meet to successfully apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa will depend on your health or care role.
The minimum salary is usually £25,480 per year, or your job’s ‘going rate’, whichever is higher. Specific roles will each have their own ‘going rate’, and there are exceptions for cases where the salary requirements are not met.
Meeting different financial requirements is very much dependent on your role; for job-specific advice, we highly recommend you get in touch so our experienced lawyers can make sure your application meets the requirements for your role.
- Be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional, or adult social care professional.
- Secure work in an eligible health or social care job.
- Have a UK employer in the health and care sector that is approved by the Home Office.
- have a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK.
You must either be employed or have a job offer by an approved UK health and care sector employer, to successfully apply for the Health and Care Worker Visa. Your employment should fall into one of the three following categories:
- You are employed by the NHS.
- You are employed by an organisation providing medical services to the NHS.
- You are employed by an organisation providing adult social care.
Your employer should also be approved to provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship.
Health and Care Visa costs
The application fee for this visa depends on your intended period of stay. The application for up to 3 years will cost £247 per person, while the application for more than 3 years will be £479 per person.
You must also be able to prove that you can support yourself financially when you come to the UK. That means having at least £1,270 in your bank account readily available for up to 28 days before your application is made.
There are additional costs that must also be considered, such as fees for legal assistance, which is highly advisable to receive your Health and Care Worker Visa on the first attempt. This is because the Administrative Review or Appeal Process can prove to be extremely time-consuming as well as costly.
ILR through the Health and Care Workers Visa
As your visa lasts up to 5 years before needing to be extended, it is a great option for health and care workers who are seeking ILR. As you will have met the requirement of 5-years of stay, you can work towards further requirements such as passing the Life in the UK Test.
If you are a health or care professional seeking a path towards ILR or eventual British Citizenship, the Health and Care Workers Visa offers a clear and achievable route.
How QC Immigration can assist your application
At QC Immigration, we have a proven process that has led to successful visa applications. Our team has an in-depth and practical knowledge of immigration law and will be able to assist you with pragmatic guidance.
Can I bring my family?
Yes, you can bring your partner and children under 18 along as dependants. To do so, you must be able to prove that you can financially support them, or they must prove that they can financially support themselves.
If you extend your stay in the UK, your dependants will also need to apply for extensions.
What if I work in the private health industry?
If you work in the health industry but do not meet the employment requirements, you may gain access to the UK through alternative routes.
Visas such as the Skilled Worker Visa offer those in the private sector the opportunity to gain access to the UK. This is conditional to meeting the relevant requirements and having an employer who is approved to offer a Certificate of Sponsorship.
What happens if my situation changes?
If you have changed your job and are no longer working in health or care, you must switch to one of the other Work Visa routes that you meet the requirements for. If you are still working in health and care but your role or situation has changed, you will have to update the relevant information on your visa.
For example, if you change roles but are working for the same employer, you will have to change your occupation code. Our team can provide further guidance specific to your case.
How long will it take to get a decision on my Health and Care Worker Visa application?
Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity and provided your documents, you should get a decision on your visa application within 3 weeks. We can advise you on the available priority services to fast-track the application.