Health and Care Worker Visa
The Health and Care Worker Visa is for non-UK skilled workers who have a suitable offer of employment from a UK business that holds a valid Sponsor Licence in the healthcare sector.
Health and Care Worker Visa Application Requirements
Your employer must have issued you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and you must submit an application using the CoS within 3 months of it being assigned to you. The employer must ensure that the role you are being sponsored for and the salary you will be paid meet Home Office requirements.
The Health and Care Worker Visa is primarily for qualified doctors, nurses, health professionals and social care professionals who will be working for a UK health and care sector employer that has been approved by the Home Office and issued with a Sponsor Licence. This will usually be the NHS, an organisation providing medical services to the NHS or an organisation providing adult social care.
Suitable jobs for the Health and Care Worker Visa include:
- health services and public health managers and directors
- residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
- biological scientists and biochemists
- physical scientists
- medical practitioners
- ophthalmic opticians
- dental practitioners
- medical radiographers
- health professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as audiologists and occupational health advisers
- occupational therapists
- speech and language therapists
- therapy professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as osteopaths and psychotherapists
- social workers
- laboratory technicians
- dispensing opticians
- pharmaceutical technicians
- medical and dental technicians
- health associate professionals not elsewhere classified
- nursing auxiliaries and assistants
- dental nurses
- care workers and home carers
- senior care workers
You will need to evidence your English language ability, either by your Nationality, having a degree taught in English or passing a suitable English language test.
In many countries you and any dependants will need to take a TB (tuberculosis) Test.
You will also need to show that you have sufficient funds available to support yourself and any Dependants (the Maintenance Requirement). This requirement can be certified by your employer.
Certain occupations will have additional requirements, such as a criminal record certificate.
Most applicants will not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
You can only use your Certificate of Sponsorship once. If you make a mistake with your application then you cannot apply again with the same CoS and you will have to ask your employer to obtain and assign a new CoS for you.
Health and Care Worker Visa Conditions
- work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
- do a second job in certain circumstances
- do voluntary work
- study as long as it does not interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
- travel abroad and return to the UK
- bring family members with you
- own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless you earn more than £159,600 a year)
- get public funds
- apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor
If you want to work for a different employer then they must provide you with a valid Certificate of Sponsorship you must apply for a new visa from within the UK. Your Dependants do not have to apply while they hold valid Dependant Visas.
Do I Have To Apply From Outside The UK?
You must apply from outside the UK unless you are already in the UK with a valid visa that was granted for more than six months (you cannot switch within the UK from a visitor visa). If you hold a Tier 4 Student Visa then you should ideally have successfully completed your studies or be within 3 months of completing your course.
ILR for Skilled Workers – Indefinite Leave to Remain
When you have completed 5 years working in the UK within the Tier 2 General and/or Skilled Worker visa categories (the Health and Care Worker visa is in the Skilled Worker Visa category) you should be able to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Your family members will also qualify once they have been in the UK for 5 years with you. If you qualify for ILR before your dependants then they can extend as Tier 2 Dependants (PBS Dependants) until such time as they reach the 5-year residency period required for Settlement.
If you have children that are born in the UK then they can apply directly for Naturalisation as a British Citizen without having to obtain ILR first if at least one parent has ILR at the time of their application. This can save a significant amount of money.