fbpx
Appointments Enquiry Insights

Call us now on: 0208 638 5532

×

Helath and Care Worker Visa

The Health and Care Worker Visa is open to qualified doctors, nurses and other health and adult social care professionals who wish to undertake an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.

Turkey

The Health and Care Worker Visa can lead to settlement in the UK after 5 years and applicants can be joined by dependent partners and children.

Requirements for a Health and Care Worker Visa

In order to qualify for a Health and Care Worker Visa, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You are aged 18 or over;
  • You are a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional;
  • You work or will work in an eligible health or social care job, which falls within the list of approved occupation codes;
  • You work or will work for a UK health and care sector employer that has been approved by the Home Office;
  • You have a valid ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you have been offered;
  • You are competent in the English language to at least CEFR Level B1 (equivalent to IELTS 4.0);
  • You will be paid the minimum salary or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you will be doing, whichever is higher;
  • You have enough money to support yourself without relying on public funds;
  • You have provided a criminal record certificate, if working with vulnerable people; and
  • You have provided a valid TB certificate, if from a listed country.

Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) Requirement

In order to obtain a Health and Care Worker Visa you must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship for the job you are planning to do. This is an electronic record rather than a physical document.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship will need to have been issued by an employer that is authorised by the Home Office to sponsor the job in question under the Health and Care Worker route.

The typical employer will be the NHS, an organisation providing medical services to the NHS, or an organisation providing adult social care. Where an employer is not currently approved they can apply for a Sponsor Licence if they are eligible.

Your employer will be required to include a brief explanation in the Certificate of Sponsorship setting out how the employee meets the Health and Care Visa eligibility requirement. Where an employer is an organisation that provides services commissioned by the NHS, evidence of any contractual arrangements with the NHS may be required to be disclosed.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship must have been issued not more than 3 months before the date of your Health and Care Worker visa application.

Your Certificate of Sponsorship must include certain mandatory information, including:

  • details of your name, job and salary;
  • a start date which is no more than 3 months after the date your Health and Care Worker visa application;
  • confirmation that the Certificate of Sponsorship has not been used in a previous application which was either granted or refused and has not been withdrawn by the sponsor or cancelled by the Home Office;

Immigration Skills Charge Requirement

Your employer must also have paid in full any required Immigration Skills Charge. This payment cannot be transferred to the applicant.

The Immigration Skills Charge is a charge for each foreign worker that a sponsoring employer seeks to employ.  The Immigration Skills Charge must be paid each time a sponsoring employer assigns a Certificate of Sponsorship to a migrant.

Chemical scientists (2111) and biological scientists and biochemists (2112) are exempt from the Immigration Skills Charge requirement.

English Language Requirement

In order to qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa you will need demonstrate English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference scale (CEFR) for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to at least level B1 (intermediate).

Prospective employees applying for entry clearance or leave to remain as a Health and Care Worker will satisfy the English language requirement if they:

  • Are a national of a majority English-speaking country;
  • Have passed a Secure English Language Test from an approved provider;
  • Have been awarded a degree-level academic qualification taught in English;
  • Obtained a GCSE/A Level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Highers or Advanced Higher in English while at school in the UK; or
  • Have already shown they met the requirement, of level B1, in a previous successful application for entry clearance or permission to stay.

If you are being sponsored to work as a doctor, dentist, nurse or midwife you do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you have already passed an English language assessment accepted by the relevant professional regulatory body.

Financial Maintenance Requirement

Subject to the exemptions below, you will need to have cash funds of at least £1,270 available to show that you can support yourself in the UK.

You will need to have held the money for at least 28 consecutive days ending not more than 31 days before the date of your Health and Care Worker Visa application.

If you are applying for permission to stay and have been in the UK with permission for 12 months or more at the date of application, you will meet the financial requirement and will not need to show funds.

You will also be exempt if your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK to an amount of at least £1,270, if necessary.  Your sponsor will need to confirm this on your Certificate of Sponsorship by completing the ‘Sponsor certifies maintenance’ section.

Criminal Record Certificate Requirement

If you are applying from outside the UK you will need to provide a criminal record certificate, unless your job is one of the following occupation codes: biological scientists and biochemists (2112) or physical scientist (2113).

  • If you are under 28 years old and you have lived in more than one country you will need to provide a criminal record certificate for any country in which you have stayed for a total of 12 months or more since you turned 18.
  • If you are over 28 years old you will need to provide a criminal record certificate for any country you have stayed in over the last 10 years.

Switching into the Health and Care Worker Visa Route

If you currently have leave to remain in another immigration category, you may extend your stay by switching into the Health and Care Worker route unless you have, or were last granted, permission as a Visitor, Short-term student, Parent of a Child Student, Seasonal Worker, Domestic Worker in a Private Household,  are on Immigration Bail or have leave to remain in the UK outside of the Immigration Rules.

Is there a cooling-off period in the Health and Care Worker route?

Under its predecessor route, those applying for entry clearance or to switch into the Tier 2 (General) route had to have not been in the UK as a Tier 2 (General) migrant during the past 12 months.  Under the Skilled Worker route, which includes the Health and Care Worker route, the 12-month ‘cooling off period’ has been removed.  There is no restriction on when applications to enter the Health and Care Worker Visa route can be made.

Duration of a Health and Care Worker Visa

If your application for a Health and Care Worker Visa is approved you will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for a period ending 14 days after the end date of your Certificate of Sponsorship (which may be up to a maximum of 5 years after the start date of your Certificate of Sponsorship). Your certificate of sponsorship will state for how long your employer is sponsoring you.

You can usually apply to extend your Health and Care Worker visa if you still meet the salary requirements and :

  • You have the same job as when you were previously were given permission to enter or stay in the UK; or
  • Your job is in the same occupation code as when you were previously were given permission to enter or stay in the UK; or
  • You are working for the same employer who issued your current certificate of sponsorship.

Is there a maximum time in the Health and Care Worker route?

Under the former Tier 2 (General) route, those applying for entry clearance or to switch into the route had to satisfy a requirement to spend a maximum of six years in the route.

Under the Health and Care Worker route, the six-year maximum length of stay in the route has been removed. There is no restriction on the length of stay and you may be granted up to 5 years leave a time.

Conditions of Stay as a Health and Care Worker

Health and Care Worker Visa holders are permitted to work in the job they have been sponsored for.  They may also undertake supplementary employment provided they continue to work in the job for which they are being sponsored and the additional work is in the same occupation code or is less than 20 paid hours a week.

You cannot apply for most benefits or a State Pension.  You cannot change jobs or employers unless you update your visa.

You will need to apply to update your Health and Care Worker visa if you want to change your job and your new job is with a different employer or your job changes to a different occupation code, and you are not in a graduate training programme; or if you leave a job that is on the shortage occupation list for a job that is not included on the list.

You will also need to update your visa if you will be working more than 20 hours a week or will be working in a different occupation code. This will require a new certificate of sponsorship from your second employer and include a letter explaining your reasons for wanting to change your current permissions to stay.

Settlement as a Health and Care Worker

In order to qualify for Settlement as a Health and Care Worker, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You have spent a continuous period of 5 years in the UK;
  • The 5-year continuous period consisted of time with permission on any of, or any combination of, the following routes: Health and Care Worker, Global Talent,  Innovator, Tier 2 Minister of Religion, Tier 2 Sportsperson, Representative of an Overseas Business or as a Tier 1 Migrant (other than as a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Migrant);
  • You have not been outside for more than 180 days during each year of the 5-year continuous period;
  • You have passed the Life in the UK test (unless aged 65 or over);
  • Your sponsor is still a Home Office-approved sponsor;
  • Your sponsor still requires you to work for them for the foreseeable future;
  • You are being and will be paid for the foreseeable future, at least the general salary threshold or the going rate requirement, whichever is higher.

Exemption from Immigration Health Surcharge

Health and Care Worker visa applicants and their dependents are exempt from paying the Immigration Health Charge.

Fast track Entry & Expedited Visa Processing Times

The Home Office published guidance states that UK Visas and Immigration will prioritise Health and Care visa applications, with the aim that the vast majority are processed within 3 weeks from the date biometrics are taken.

Dependants of Health and Care Workers

Health and Care Workers may be joined or accompanied by a dependent partner over the age of 18 and/or a dependent child under the age of 18.

The Health and Care Worker visa fee reduction applies to partners and children applying as dependants of Health and Care Visa applicants as does the exemption from Immigration Health Charge.

How Our Immigration Advisers Can Help

Our team of business immigration advisers have experience in assisting employers and Health and Care Workers across a variety of industries in companies of all sizes. Our advisers can help you with planning to ensure that you meet your start date and ensure that your career progression will fit your immigration goals.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our client’s needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to Health and Care Workers as part of a professional and friendly service.

Contact us today

Nexus Visas assists international clients in obtaining UK visas, residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Contact us to arrange an initial private consultation.

Our Regulator

Authorised

Approved SELT Exam Center

Our Certifications

Nexus Visas is the trading name of Nexus Immigration Limited company registered in England and Wales with company number: 12633225. 

This firm is regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner.

© Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.