A Health and Care Worker visa enables medical professionals to enter or remain in the United Kingdom in order to work in an eligible position with the NHS, an NHS supplier, or in adult social care. The Health and Care visa was created to expedite the process of bringing foreign nationals with medical and care skills to the UK to work. Successful applicants may reside and work in the United Kingdom for five years and may extend their visas as often as they wish.
After five years, migrant workers holding a Health and Care visa will also be able to apply for permanent residence which is called an indefinite leave to remain. Permanent residence has numerous advantages, including the ability to change employers and claim benefits, as well as the elimination of the need to apply for additional visas.
To be eligible for a Health and Care visa, you must meet the following requirements:
Only those who work in the following occupations are eligible to apply for a Health and Care visa. (note the four-digit number is the standard occupation code – SOC):
Immediate family members may accompany or join you in the UK if you apply for a Health and Care visa. This includes your spouse or partner and any children who are dependent on you.
If you are already in the United Kingdom and wish to bring your dependents, your UK sponsor must provide written confirmation that your family member is eligible to join you based on your occupation.
A letter or email from the sponsor describing the organisation for which you work and, if the organisation is not an NHS body, how it qualifies, will be needed to be given.
To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker Visa, you must demonstrate to UK Visas and Immigration that:
The specific requirements that you must meet will vary according to your circumstances. You may wish to seek expert advice from an immigration expert by arranging a call back here or calling us here.
To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, you must demonstrate English language proficiency at the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level B1 (intermediate) in all four components (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).
Employees who apply for entry clearance or leave to remain as a Health and Care Worker will be considered to have met the English language requirement if they:
If you are sponsored to work as a doctor, dentist, nurse, or midwife, you are not required to demonstrate your English language proficiency if you have already passed an English language assessment recognised by the relevant professional regulatory body.
As with any UK visa application, you will be required to submit a variety of supporting documents, including, where applicable, the following:
Upon receipt of your application for a Health and Care visa, UK Visas and Immigration will prioritise and expedite the processing of your application (UKVI).
As a result, the vast majority of healthcare professionals who submit their biometric information through this route can expect to hear back within three weeks of submitting their application. This is significantly faster than the current processing time for skilled worker visas, which ranges between 8 and 20 weeks.
Additionally, a dedicated NHS support and visa processing team will be on hand to assist visa applicants and sponsors with any questions or concerns they may have about the application process or their eligibility for the Health and Care visa programme.
A UK Health and Care Worker Visa allows you to do a wide range of things. For example, you can:
If your application is approved, you will receive a detailed list of what you are and are not permitted to do with a Health and Care Worker visa.
If your Health and Care Worker Visa application is approved, you will be granted entry clearance or permission to remain for a period of 14 days following the expiration of your Certificate of Sponsorship (which may not exceed five years from the date on which your Certificate of Sponsorship began.). Your sponsorship certificate will state the duration of your employer's sponsorship.
Generally, if you continue to meet the salary requirements, you can apply to extend your Health and Care Worker visa if:
To apply for the Health and Care visa, you must first obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship from your UK sponsor. This will include a one-of-a-kind reference number. After that, you'll need to apply online through the Home Office's website.
After you have completed all required information, the application process will proceed to the payment of the appropriate fee (see below). Additionally, you will be required to submit various documents in support of your application.
When the Home Office receives your application, it will assess the information and documents provided, and you may be offered to either:
The cost of a health and care visa varies according to the length of stay in the United Kingdom. The cost of a visa valid for up to three years is £232.
Visas with a duration of more than three years cost £464.
Individuals who apply for the Health and Care Visa will have their application fees reduced. Fee reductions apply to partners and dependents as well. Reduced fees should be applied automatically during the online application process. Fees, however, are subject to change at any time.
Fees are the same whether you apply for a health and care visa from within or outside the United Kingdom.
This fee will be automatically reduced by £55 if you are a national of one of the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.
This discount is available only to the applicant; partners and dependents must pay the full application fee.