The UK Health and Care Worker Visa provides a number of distinct advantages for migrants in health and care professions who wish to come to the UK to work.
Contact our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or complete our enquiry form to discuss your UK Health and Care Worker Visa.
The Health and Care Worker Visa provides 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, such as senior carers. Successful applicants 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 settle in the UK (also known 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.
It might surprise you to know that the UK’s National Health Service is the world’s fifth-largest employer with a staff of nearly 1.9m people. For this reason, 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, and there are around 100,000 vacancies within the service. The UK health and care worker visa is the ideal choice for professionals working in this sector from around the world who wish to work in the UK.
The Health and Care Worker Visa is only for medical professionals and those in eligible health and care professions. The Skilled Worker visa is for other professions and jobs outside of health and care.
In addition, there are several benefits of a health and care worker visa compared to a Skilled Worker visa, as follows:
The UK Health and Care Worker Visa is available to the following qualified doctors, nurses, health professionals and adult social care professionals in one of the following occupations (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
2214: ophthalmic opticians
2215: dental practitioners
2217: medical radiographers
2219: health professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as audiologists and occupational health advisers
2222: occupational therapists
2223: speech and language therapists
2229: therapy professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as osteopaths and psychotherapists
2442: social workers
3111: laboratory technicians
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
There are several eligibility requirements that must be met when applying for a UK Health and Care Worker Visa. Specifically, you must:
You must have an offer for a role with one of the above occupation codes. If you are unsure of the occupation code of the job you have been offered, you can use the ONS occupation checking tool1. Alternatively, check with your employer, who will be able to provide this information.
Your job offer must be from one of the following:
Your employer (sponsor) must be licenced to employ overseas workers with Health and Care Visas. A full list of the types of organisations you can work for can be found on the Home Office website2.
The minimum salary will depend on the type of job you have. Typically, you will need a salary of at least £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour, whichever is higher. The rules state that if the ‘going rate’3 is more than either of these figures, you will need to be paid at least the going rate. The going rate is set by the government and reflects the salary (or hourly rate) they estimate is typically paid within each profession. Therefore, the going rate varies considerably depending on which profession you are in).
In some cases, you can still apply for a Health and Care Visa if your salary is less than the amounts above. The rules state that you can be paid between 70% and 90% of the going rate for your job if you are paid at least £20,480 per year, and one of the following applies:
To apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa, you must meet the English language requirements, either by:
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). 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.
To check if you are eligible for a UK Health and Care Worker visa, speak to one of our helpful immigration solicitors. Call us on 020 3744 2797 for advice on your UK Health and Care Worker visa.
The process of applying for a Skilled Worker visa from outside of the UK is completed online on the Home Office website5. You will be in a position to complete and submit your application once you have your job offer, Certificate of Sponsorship, and the supporting information listed below. If necessary, you can complete part of the application and save your progress, allowing you to complete the process at a later date.
The application steps are as follows:
You can expect to receive a decision within 3 weeks of your application date if submitted outside the UK. If more information is needed to support your application, you will be contacted by UKVI.
Reiss Edwards can handle the Health and Care Visa application process for you and your family members. Call us on 020 3744 2797 for advice on your UK Health and Care Worker visa.
Some of the information and documents you may need to provide to support your Health and Care Worker Visa application include:
You will be able to further extend your health and care worker visa as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria; this means you must:
Your partner or children will also be able to extend their visa. However, they will need to apply separately, either at the same time as you or at any time before their current visa expires.
As a Health and Care Worker Visa holder, you will be able to bring your eligible dependant family members to join you in the UK; this includes your:
The health and care worker visa costs are as follows:
Please note the application fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK.
1 Office For National Statistics: ONS occupation coding tool.
5 Home Office Website: Online Application
6 Home Office Website: Online Application
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