Health & Care Worker Visa

To work in the UK as a medical practitioner, you may be eligible for the Health and Care Worker Visa.
To get immediate assistance call us now at 0203 384 4389. We’re always available to help you.

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What Is the Health And Care Worker Visa

The Health and Care Worker Visa is a special visa category under the UK’s immigration system, designed to attract medical professionals to work in the National Health Service (NHS), the social care sector, or in health and care roles within the NHS supply chain. It’s part of the Skilled Worker route and offers some specific advantages for healthcare professionals.
Doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals from all nationalities (except British and Irish) and who have achieved a recognised medical qualification may apply for the Health and Care Worker Visa.

After five years, the Health and Care Worker Visa can lead to settlement in the UK, dependent partners and children can also join the applicant on this visa type.

The Health and Care visa bears resemblance to the Skilled Worker Visa, enabling individuals to reside and work in the UK. Nonetheless, there exist distinctions. This visa is exclusively accessible to specific medical professionals and individuals holding eligible health and care positions. Health and Care Visa holders benefit from reduced visa fees and are exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

  • The Health and Care Worker Visa is specifically designed to support the UK’s health and social care sectors by facilitating the immigration of skilled health professionals.
  • It’s part of the broader Skilled Worker Visa program and replaces the previous Tier 2 (General) healthcare visa.

To discuss about health care visa call us at 0203 384 4389 

Who is eligible for the Health and Care Worker Visa?

UK Visas & Immigration requires the following requirements in order to grant you a Care Worker Visa:
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to satisfy different requirements.

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

Qualifying Occupational Codes Qualify for Health and Care Worker Visa

In order to qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa, the following Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes must be met (in ascending SOC code order):
This list is exhaustive and roles within the same sector but belonging to different codes would not qualify for the Health and Care Visa. However, some of these roles may qualify under the general category of Skilled Workers.

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

What is a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?

In order for an individual to make a valid application for permission (also known as a visa) under the Skilled Worker and other sponsored work route, a sponsor must first assign a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to them.
You must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship to qualify for a Health and Care Worker Visa. Instead of a paper copy, this document is electronically stored.
In order to obtain your Certificate of Sponsorship, you must have an employer who has been authorized by the Home Office to sponsor your job under the Health and Care Worker route.
Typical employers would be the NHS, an organization providing medical care to the NHS, or an organization providing adult social care. Those employers that do not yet hold a sponsor licence should speak with the UK Immigration Solicitors team for assistance and guidance on how a qualifying application can be made.
Employers are required to include a brief explanation in the Certificate of Sponsorship regarding how the employee meets the requirements for the Health and Care Visa. Any contract between an employer and the NHS may need to be disclosed if an employer provides services commissioned by the NHS.
You must have received your Certificate of Sponsorship not more than 3 months before you apply for your Health and Care Worker visa.
There are certain mandatory details required on your Certificate of Sponsorship, including:

How are my intentions assessed for the Tourism, Leisure, or Family Visit Visa?

An employer seeking to employ foreign workers must pay a charge known as the Immigration Skills Charge.

When applying for a Tourism, Leisure, or Family Visit Visa to the UK, the assessment of your intentions is a critical part of the application process. The UK visa authorities will evaluate several factors to ensure that you plan to visit the UK for tourism, leisure, or family purposes only and not for prohibited activities like long-term residence or employment.

Any required Immigration Skills Charge must also be paid in full by your sponsor.
Employers must pay the Immigration Skills Charge each time they assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to a migrant.
Chemical scientists (2111) and biological scientists and biochemists (2112) are exempt from the Immigration Skills Charge requirement.
It is important to note that the Immigration Skills Charge must be paid in full by the employer who is sponsoring you.
It is common for sponsors to ask if they can deduct the Immigration Skills Charge from the worker’s salary or whether they can request it at the outset.
Sponsors must pay the ISC to the worker and cannot pass it on to the worker in any fashion.

An employer is likely to lose their sponsor license if they pass the Immigration Skills Charge on to a worker to pay in any fashion whatsoever.

For further details call 0203 384 4389 

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

What is the Salary Threshold Requirement?

Unless the ‘going rate’ for the job is higher, employers seeking to hire Health and Care Workers must pay their health workers at least £20,480 per year (subject to certain limitations as described below).
There is a ‘going rate’ for each occupation code. Roles within the NHS have different pay bands depending on whether they are located in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland.
In the case of biochemists, biologists, or physical scientists, there is a separate salary system that typically requires a minimum salary of £25,600 per year, unless the ‘going rate’ is higher.
Under the following circumstances, you may be paid less than the ‘going rate’:

What Does ‘Shortage Occupation List’ Mean?

There are skilled roles for which the Home Office keeps a list of positions for which employers are struggling to find enough workers.
This is a feature of the current Tier 2 work migration route called the Shortage Occupation List (SOL). These are occupations where employers are facing a labour shortage and where migrant workers can help fill that shortage.
A number of special dispensations are provided for those occupations on the list within the immigration rules to make it easier for employers to hire migrant workers to fill vacancies in those areas of shortage.
It is the Government’s responsibility to regularly commission the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to recommend what occupations should be added to the SOL. However, it is ultimately the Government who chooses the occupations.
The Home Office maintains a list of skilled jobs for which it is difficult for employers to hire enough workers with the necessary skills to fill the vacancies.
Healthcare and education shortage occupations are listed separately on the Home Office website and include, among others, medical practitioners, nurses, midwives, psychologists, speech and language therapists, medical radiographers, paramedics and social workers.
The salary threshold requirement will be reduced if you have a job offer for an occupation on the shortage occupation list.

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

What are Financial Maintenance Requirements?

In most cases, you need at least £1,270 in cash, subject to the exemptions below.
The money must have been held for at least 28 consecutive days and not more than 31 days prior to the date of your Skilled Worker Visa application.
If necessary, a fully ‘A-rated’ sponsor who agrees to cover your maintenance costs up to the end of the first month of your employment will exempt you from the financial requirement. This must be confirmed on your Certificate of Sponsorship by your sponsor.
If you are applying for permission to remain in the UK and have been here with permission for more than 12 months at the time of application, you qualify as meeting the financial requirement.

What Does Criminal Record Certificate Requirement Mean?

In the case of obtaining entry clearance for certain jobs (generally jobs in the health, care, welfare, and education sectors), unless it is not feasible to do so, you will be required to provide a criminal record certificate for any country in which, since the age of 18, you have resided for a period of 12 months or more (continuously or cumulatively) in the ten years prior to your application date.
You must provide a criminal record certificate if you are applying from outside the UK unless your job is one of the following occupation codes: biological scientists and biochemists (2112) or physical scientists (2113).
You’ll need to provide a criminal record certificate if you’re applying from outside the UK and you work in:

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

Can I Switch my Existing Visa into a Health and Care Workers Visa?

You might be able to apply to change (‘switch’) to a Health and Care Worker visa if you’re already in the UK on a different type of visa.

Your partner or children will need to apply separately to switch their visa.

They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.

You must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.


Your proposed job must meet strict job eligibility requirements

You must have a satisfactory proficiency of English in speaking, reading, writing and understanding.

You must leave the UK and apply for a Health and Care Worker visa from abroad if you’re in one of these categories.

Who cannot apply to switch to a Health and Care Worker visa from within the UK;

You cannot apply to switch to this visa if you’re currently in the UK:

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

What Does ‘cooling off period’ in the Health and Care Worker Visa Mean?

The Tier 2 cooling off period previously barred Tier 2 visa holders from returning to the UK for a period of 12 months after their visa expired or moving back to a Tier 2 visa from another UK leave category within 12 months (unless they earned more than £159,600). 

It applied to people who were either abroad and had their last grant of Tier 2 leave expire or finish; or who were in the UK and had an earlier period of Tier 2 leave, but then transferred to a different immigration category and then tried to apply under Tier 2 again.

The Tier 2 cooling off period has been eliminated, allowing Tier 2 (General) and Health and Care Worker visa holders to apply for a UK visa without having to wait. Existing Tier 2 General visa holders will no longer be subject to these restrictions as a result of this adjustment.

The Tier 2 cooling off period had been troublesome for both sponsors and workers, and the revised rules provide Health and Care Workers with more flexibility in returning to the UK while also improving companies’ foreign recruitment possibilities.

There is no longer a 12-month ‘cooling off period’ for Health and Care Worker Visa holders.  

There is no restriction on the timing of applications for Health and Care Worker Visa holders.

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

How Long Does a Health and Care Worker Visa Last?

Visas for Health and Care Workers can be granted for a maximum of five years.

If the visa holder wants to extend the visa at this point, they can do so; if they have completed the five-year residency requirement, they may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Providing you follow the visa requirements, there is no limit to how many times you can extend the Health and Care Worker Visa.

Formerly, applicants to the Tier 2 (General) route had to spend up to six years in the route to be eligible for entry clearance or to switch to the route.

A six-year maximum stay has been removed from the Health and Care Worker Visa route. There is no duration limit.

It is necessary to apply for a new period of leave if the visa holder changes sponsors or jobs.

This means that if you continue working for your sponsor (and meet compliance requirements) for a continuous period of 5 years, you are eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain which will then afford you a status equivalent to permanent residency.

At this point, you become free from immigration control and enter and leave the UK at your leisure without any visa requirements.

You also enjoy all of the same rights as a settled person in the UK

Can Health and Care Workers Apply for Benefits or Change Job?

Visa holders for Health and Care Worker are allowed to work in the position they have been sponsored for. Additionally, they can work part-time in the same occupation code or less than 20 paid hours per week if they continue to work at the job for which they are sponsored.

Most benefits and state pensions are not available. Changing jobs and employers is not possible unless your visa is updated.

If you want to change jobs and your new employer is a different one; or if you are not in a graduate training programme; or if you leave a job on the shortage occupation list to take one that is not on the list, you need to apply for an update of your Health and Care Worker visa.

Additionally, if you are going to work more than 20 hours a week or if you are switching occupation codes, you will need to update your visa. Your second employer must issue you a new certificate of sponsorship, along with a letter explaining why you want to change your current stay authorisation. 

There are important UKVI compliance considerations as well as Employer policy / contractual obligations and conflicts of interest which must be examined in detail, and it is therefore not recommended to take on additional work unless there are compelling reasons to do so.

Our expert team are able to discuss any concerns or requirements at length with you to ensure the most appropriate action is taken and your immigration status is safeguarded at all times.

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

When Do I Qualify for Settlement (Permanent Residency) on the Skilled Worker Route?

Settlement means that you are considered to be permanently in the UK and do not require any further visas. Indefinite leave to remain is how you settle in the UK.
It’s also called ‘settlement’. It gives you the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like and apply for benefits if you’re eligible.
You can use it to apply for British citizenship.
The following conditions must be met in order to qualify for settlement as a Skilled Worker:
For the foreseeable future, you will be paid at least the general salary threshold or the going rate requirement, whichever is higher.

What are the Application Fees?

Fees for an entry clearance application outside the UK and an application for leave to remain outside the UK, including an application to switch into this category, will be the same in effect from 01 December 2020.
Depending on your nationality, this fee will be automatically reduced by £55 if you come from Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, or Sweden. Only the applicant is eligible for this reduction; partners and dependents will have to pay the full application fee.

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

Do Health and Care Workers Pay an Immigration Health Surcharge?

Immigration Health Charges are not applicable to Health and Care Worker visa applicants and their dependents.

How Long Does the Health and Care Workers Visa take to Process?

Health and Care visa applications will be prioritised by UK Visas and Immigration. It is hoped that most of these applications will be processed within three weeks following biometric collection.

Can My Partner and Children Join Me?

It is possible for Health and Care Workers to have a dependent partner over 18 years of age and/or a dependent child under 18 years of age. 

If you are a Health and Care Worker in the UK, your immediate family can also come to the UK with you as your dependents.

They will be free to work, study or travel freely whilst subject to a dependent visa.

Dependant Visas are issued to the family members of migrants who qualify for the visa.  

A dependent is defined by the Immigration Rules as:

For the purposes of the Dependant Visa, it is highly unlikely that any other family members would be eligible for dependant status.

A spouse or partner may obtain a dependent visa if the person they are dependent on is either:

Same-sex or unmarried partners must also be able to show they have been in a subsisting genuine relationship akin to marriage for the past two years.

Dependant visas are available for children if:

Dependant visas can only be applied for by the children of a sole parent if:

Having sufficient finances to support a family without recourse to public funds is a requirement of the Dependant Visa.
As an example, if the visa applicant is the main applicant, he/she is required to submit evidence of having £285 in savings for their dependent partner, along with an additional £315 in savings for their first dependent child and £200 for each additional dependent child.

In addition to the fee reduction for Health and Care Workers, the exemption from Immigration Health Charge also applies to partners and children of Health and Care Visa applicants.

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

How can UK Immigration Solicitors help me?

Our expert legal team are highly experienced in assisting with the below services (where the option has been made available by UKVI)

New Applications – We can help you assess the merits, challenges and solutions to any issues arising whilst making a new application for Health and Care Worker Visas

Dependents – We can help you make a successful application for your partner or children to join you as your dependents on your Health and Care Worker Visa.

Legal Representations – Where applicable, if you find yourself in an unusual or challenging situation and want the Home Office to take notice of your special circumstances to ensure that you are treated fairly and your rights are respected, our expert team can make both oral and written persuasive legal representations.

Challenge a Refusal – If your application has been refused, we can consider your refusal for free and advise on the best course of action.

Administrative Review – Home Office or Immigration Rules can be challenged if the decision-maker failed to follow them correctly.

Judicial Review – If your application was denied illegally, unreasonable or procedurally improperly, our immigration lawyers can apply for Judicial Review and represent you at the Judicial Review hearing.

Appeal an Unfair Decision – The decision to refuse your application may provide you with a right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. Our expert lawyers can advise you on and handle Appeals before the Immigration & Asylum Chamber (First Tier & Upper Tribunal)

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

Why Health And Care Worker Visa?

At UK Immigration Solicitors, we are passionate about all thing’s immigration. As a multi award winning nationwide law firm, we are proud to offer a truly global service. We have assisted clients from more than 120 countries over the last 10 years. We are proud to innovate and lead the immigration law industry.

Back in 2012, after carefully listening to the frustrations of clients who could not find reliable immigration advice online, we pioneered the provision of legal representation for immigration cases online. This was a revolutionary transition and since our innovations, there have been a whole multitude of online immigration service providers.

UK Immigration Solicitors are immensely proud of our reputation and our ability to deliver a truly global, comprehensive service to our clients without the need for them to step foot outside of the comfort of their own home in most cases.

Our experienced UK immigration Solicitors can help you with your immigration process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Most of the time, a child needs a visa in order to live in the UK. For instance, if their parent is a foreign national working or studying in the country, the child may need a Child Dependant Visa.

Certainly, as long as you consistently meet the eligibility criteria, you have the option to extend the Health and Care Worker Visa multiple times. This involves maintaining continuity in your employment, including remaining in the same job, occupation code, and with the same employer while fulfilling the salary requirements.

For those aiming to establish permanent residency in the UK, an additional opportunity arises after residing in the country for five years on this visa. You can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, granting you the freedom to live, work, and study in the UK without time restrictions.

Apart from meeting the salary criteria, you must demonstrate access to a minimum of £1,270 to ensure self-support during your stay in the UK. This amount should have been maintained for at least 28 days preceding your application date.

This financial prerequisite is waived if you have been in the UK on a visa for 12 months or longer before applying for the health and care worker visa. Additionally, if your employer covers your expenses for the initial month in the UK, and this is confirmed in your Certificate of Sponsorship, you are exempt from this requirement.

Certainly. To be eligible for the health and care worker visa, you must exhibit proficiency in English at least at B1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. You can demonstrate this by passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT), presenting certain academic qualifications, or being from an exempt English-speaking country.

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