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How to Search for and identify Licensed Sponsor for Health and Care Worker visa in the UK

For decades, the UK has been a hot destination for workers from around the world, especially in the field of health and care. The UK’s NHS is, according to estimates, the world’s fifth-largest employer and is envied across the world for its ability to provide free cutting-edge healthcare. Indeed, the UK is home to many top research and university hospitals, some of the preeminent experts in the medical field, and world-leading medical infrastructure and facilities. If you are planning to make the journey to come to the UK to work in the health and care sector in 2021, you will not be disappointed. The opportunities for development and progression are substantial, and the training available will set you up for a long career. We understand that the process of applying for a health or care role in the UK may appear intimidating, but this need not be the case. The UK government has put in place a fast-track visa system specifically for health and care workers, which is not only inexpensive, you will also receive your visa very quickly (typically within three weeks). In this article, we take a look at how suitably qualified overseas workers can find a sponsored health and care role in the UK.

What is the health and care visa?

The health and care visa in the UK is specifically designed to make it easy for those in certain in-demand medical and care occupations from around the world to come to and work here. Health and care visas are generally issued for a period of five years, after which you will have the option to further extend or apply for permanent settlement in the UK. As a health and care visa holder, you will be able to:

  • work in an eligible job
  • take on additional work in certain circumstances
  • do voluntary work
  • study
  • bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependants’, if they’re eligible
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • apply to settle permanently in the UK after five years

The scheme is intended for workers with job offers in either the NHS, a provider to the NHS, or a registered social care provider. To be eligible, you must:

  • be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
  • work in an eligible health or social care job
  • work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ (CoS) from your employer
  • be paid a minimum salary

Not all health and care professionals will be able to apply under this visa scheme, rather you will need to have a role that matches one on the list of eligible occupations.

How can I find a suitable sponsored health and care role in the UK?

When looking for a suitable health and care role in the UK, here are a few points and tips to consider:

  • Your employer must be a licensed sponsor

The first point to consider is that you will only be able to work for a licensed sponsor in the UK. The UK’s Home Office publishes an official list of all licensed sponsors on its website. One easy way to find all of the possible employers you can apply to is to search for appropriate terms, such as “NHS”, “NHS Trust”, “healthcare, “care”, “laboratory”, “care agency” etc. As such, you can use this list as an initial point of reference to then find jobs with sponsors, and you can use this as a way of verifying that a job you have found is with a registered sponsor. If a prospective employer is not on the list, they will not be able to sponsor you. That said, it is always worth checking with them, as they may have a different business name under which they hold sponsorship, they may be recruiting on behalf of a licensed sponsor, or they may be in the process of acquiring sponsorship.

  • Look at the NHS vacancies website

While the NHS job search website may not list all of the eligible jobs for which you can apply in the UK, it lists tens of thousands across the UK. You can narrow down your search based on your preferred location/s in the UK (perhaps you wish to be close to a friend or family member), your specialism, and salary requirements.

  • Search for roles on large job sites

There are many job sites which you can use to search for a suitable role. Sites such as are very intuitive in that you can search for terms such as “health and care visa” to find vacancies that are eligible for sponsorship.

  • Apply to an agency that specialises in recruiting overseas health and care workers

There are hundreds of agencies across the UK specialising in sourcing and recruiting health and care workers from overseas. The NHS Employers website publishes a full list of recruitment agencies, which can be searched by region. Not all will be licensed sponsors, but they may find you employment with an agency that is registered to provide sponsorship to you. The NHS employer’s website is also a great source of information relating to current recruitment trends, pay, pensions and rewards, adapting to COVID-19, and role-specific advice.

  • Speak to an immigration Solicitor in the UK

Another approach is to speak to an immigration Solicitor in the UK who will be able to guide you in the right direction. They tend to have a wide range of contacts with whom they can put you in touch and can also provide guidance and support with applying for your health and care visa.

Wrapping up

The opportunities and prospects available to health and care workers in the UK are substantial. We have assisted many medical professionals and other health and care staff to come to the UK, who have gone on to be promoted and rewarded well for their hard work and dedication. We wish you all the very best with your job search and your time in the UK.

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