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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.

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.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

Before you can apply for a Health and Care worker visa you must have a job offer from a Home Office approved sponsor.  As legal representatives we are not able to arrange job offers in the UK or sponsor visa applicants.

Health and Care Worker Visa Occupational Codes

The relevant Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Codes which meet the eligibility requirements for the Health and Care Worker visa are as follows:

  • 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
  • 2212: psychologists
  • 2213: pharmacists
  • 2214: ophthalmic opticians
  • 2215: dental practitioners
  • 2217: medical radiographers
  • 2218: podiatrists
  • 2219: health professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as audiologists and occupational health advisers
  • 2221: physiotherapists
  • 2222: occupational therapists
  • 2223: speech and language therapists
  • 2229: therapy professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as osteopaths and psychotherapists
  • 2231: nurses
  • 2232: midwives
  • 2442: social workers
  • 3111: laboratory technicians
  • 3213: paramedics
  • 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
  • 6145: care workers and home carers
  • 6146: senior care workers

This is an exhaustive list and roles which are within the same sector but fall under different codes would not be eligible for the Health and Care Visa: However, some roles may still be eligible within the general Skilled Worker category.

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.

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As specialist immigration solicitors, we pride in having one of the best team of specialist immigration solicitors  with wealth of knowledge and experience to deal with all types of UK visa and immigration matters. Our top rated immigration solicitors have successfully helped thousands of clients with all types of UK visa and immigration applications, immigration appeals, Administrative Review, Pre-Action Protocol (PAP) and Judicial Review.

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