The Health and Care Worker visa is for medical professionals and adult social care workers who want to travel to the UK to work with the NHS, an NHS supplier, or in adult social care.
Nurses, doctors, and other health professionals can be eligible for the Health and Care Worker visa—provided that they’re applying for an eligible health or social care job from an approved employer.
Applicants need to know their job’s occupation code to find out if it’s an eligible job for the Health and Care Worker visa route.
Here are some examples:
In order to qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa, applicants must have a job offer from an employer approved by the Home Office. It can be the NHS, an organization providing medical services to the NHS, or an organization providing adult social care.
Employers must be licensed to act as sponsors because applicants for the Health and Care Worker visa will need a certificate of sponsorship to come to the UK. The applicant’s employer is the one in charge of issuing the applicant’s certificate of sponsorship.
The certificate of sponsorship is an electronic record with information about the applicant’s sponsorship. The certificate must have a valid reference number and the employer’s name and sponsor license number in order to be considered legitimate.
Plus, it must have been issued less than 3 months before the date of application. The certificate of sponsorship expires after 3 months.
They must be paid the minimum salary or the going rate for the job they’ll be doing in the UK. The salary requirement is at least £20,480 unless the going rate for the job they’ll be doing in the UK is higher. Each job’s occupation code has its own annual going rate to serve as guidance.
Salary requirements may be different for some jobs. For example, the minimum salary requirement rises to £25,600 per year, £10.10 per hour, or the going rate if the applicant is a biological scientist, physical scientist, biochemist, laboratory technician, dispensing optician, pharmaceutical technician, care worker, home carer, senior care worker, health services and public health manager and/or director, or residential, day and domiciliary care manager and/or proprietor.
Applicants must be able to read, write, speak, and understand spoken English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale.
To prove their English level, applicants should take a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider, unless they have a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, or degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English (applicants need to apply through Ecctis to prove this).
Some applicants do not need to prove their English level. These applicants are:
Health and Care Worker visa holders can live and work in the UK for up to 5 years. However, if they change jobs within that period, they should apply to update their visa.
If they spend 5 years in the UK, they can apply to settle in the UK permanently.
Health and Care Worker visa holders can do the job they were sponsored to do, plus voluntary work and supplementary work if:
Health and Care Worker visa holders can study and bring their families to the UK (if they’re eligible). They can also travel abroad and go back to the UK as they wish.
However, they can’t change jobs or employers without updating their visas, and they can’t have access to public funds (such as the State Pension).
The Health and Care Worker visa costs include:
To apply for a Health and Care Worker visa, the healthcare professional or social care worker must apply for a Skilled Worker visa online. They will be able to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa during the application for the Skilled Worker visa.
By that time, they must already have their certificate of sponsorship issued less than 3 months from the date of application.
As part of the application, applicants must prove their identity. In some cases, they will be able to scan their identity documents directly with the UK Immigration: ID Check app. In other cases, they will be required to attend a visa center application (perhaps in another state or country) to provide biometric information, such as fingerprints and photographs.
The Health and Care Worker visa applicant’s partner and children can apply to stay in the UK as “dependants”.
A partner is:
All children under 18 years old, including those who were born in the UK, are eligible for the visa. Children over 16 years old are eligible as long as they don’t have their own partner and/or children, and if they still live with the applicant and depend financially on him/her.
Moreover, the family members must pay their own application fees and show that they have money to support themselves in the UK.
They will need:
They should also present the main applicant’s application number —called Global Web Form (GWF) or a Unique Application Number (UAN)— to apply as dependants.
The Health and Care Worker visa should be extended before it expires. To do so, Health and Care Worker visaholders must apply online for a Skilled Worked visa. The Health and Care Worker visa will be included there.
The Health and Care Worker visa can only be renewed if, at the time of application to extend the visa, the applicant has the same job with the same occupation code, skill level, and employer who sponsored them to do that job in the first place. If that’s not the case, the individual must apply to update their visa, not to extend it.
In any case, the Health and Care Worker visa holder must still meet the rest of the requirements, such as the salary requirements, to keep qualifying for this visa.
Healthcare professionals and adult social care workers cannot switch to this visa from the following visas:
However, they could be able to switch to this visa from other types of visas if they meet the requirements and apply for this visa before their current visa expires.
Applicants can expect to receive a decision within 3 weeks unless they need to attend an interview, or if their supporting documents need to be verified.
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