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The UK Health and Care Worker visa Application: Cost and Eligibility Criteria

It might surprise you to know that the UK's National Health Service is the worlds fifth-largest employer, with more staff than Amazon, McDonald's, and the People's Liberation Army of China. So it stands to reason that with a staff of nearly 1.9m people, there is always considerable demand for clinical staff of all levels from overseas. It is estimated that overseas nationals make up around 14% of the total workforce of the NHS. The NHS and the health and social care sector in the UK are, however, facing something of an existential staffing crisis. There are over 100,000 vacancies within the service, a number which was estimated before the UK left the EU, bringing an end to free movement between the two. As a result, there is likely to be a significant increase in the number of vacancies in 2021 and beyond. It is believed that around 8,000 nurses have been recruited by the NHS in the past ten months to fill vacancies, including in critical care, as a response to the pandemic. According to the Independent, thirty critical care nurses from India joined the Mid and South Essex NHS Trust in February, and another 300 will be joining other trusts around the UK. In this article, we will explain how to apply for a UK Health and Care Worker visa, including the costs and eligibility criteria that must be met.

What Is The UK Health And Care Visa?

The Health and Care visa was created to provide a fast-track for overseas nationals with medical and care skills to come to the UK to work in an eligible role with the NHS, an NHS supplier, or in the adult care sector. Successful applications can live and work in the UK for a period of five years and extend their visa as many times as they wish. After five years, migrant workers with a Health and Care visa will also have the option to apply for permanent settlement (referred to as indefinite leave to remain). There are considerable advantages of permanent residence, including the ability to switch employers, claim benefits, and there is no requirement to apply for further visas.

What Are The Eligibility Criteria For The UK Health And Care Visa?

In order to make a successful application for a Health and Care visa, you must:

  • be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
  • work in eligible health or social care job
  • work for a UK employer that's been 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
  • be paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do

Only applicants in the following occupations can apply for a Health and Care visa (note the four-digit number is the standard occupation code – SOC):

  • 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

Before applying for your visa, you must already have a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from either the NHS, an organisation providing medical services to the NHS (e.g. a laboratory), or an organisation providing adult social care. Your salary must be at least £20,480 (unless the 'going-rate' for your job is more than this).

Other eligibility requirements

In addition to meeting the job offer, occupation and salary criteria, you will also need to prove to the Home Office as part of your application that you satisfy the English language requirement by either:

  • passing an approved language test for reading, writing, speaking and understanding English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
  • having a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, or;
  • having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English.
  • being from an exempt country.

You will also need to show you have enough money to support yourself while in the UK (£1,270 held in your bank for 28 days), however, this will not be required if you have already been in the country for one year or more on a valid visa. If you do not have sufficient support funds, you may choose to ask your employer to provide a letter of support, which the Home Office will also accept.

How Much Does A UK Health And Safety Visa Cost?

The application fee for a health and care visa is currently set at £232 per person for a visa of up to three years and £464 per person for a visa of more than three years. This amount is reduced by £55 if you are applying from an EU country. There is no requirement to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge (this is normally £624 per person per year), hence a significant saving can be made when compared to applying for a standard Skilled Worker visa.

Wrapping Up

Given the urgent need for health and care workers in the UK, once your application is submitted, you can expect to receive a decision quickly, usually within three weeks. If you need any assistance with your application, perhaps to verify your eligibility or that you have completed the form correctly and provided the necessary evidence, speak to an immigration Solicitor in the UK who will be able to look over your application prior to submission.


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O.L

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As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

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"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

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"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

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"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

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"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

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"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

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Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

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"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

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Fong Li

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Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

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"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

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