Important Travel Document Information – Please Read
The UK Health and Care Worker visa is a points-based visa that allows healthcare professionals from outside the UK to come to the UK to live and work. The visa is designed to attract talented people to the UK to fill Healthcare jobs that cannot be filled by UK workers. Anyone can apply providing they reach the eligibility requirements. The Health and Care Worker visa permits you to live and work in the UK for up to five years at a time. You can also bring your family members with you to the UK on dependent visas. If you are applying to work for the National Health Service (NHS) as a GP, the NHS will reimburse any visa costs for the applicant and any dependents.
We advise that applicants apply as soon as they are able to ensure that their Health and Care Visa is supplied in time. Health and Care Worker Visas typically take around 2 months to obtain when accounting for appointment booking and processing time.
Before you can apply for a UK Health and Care Worker Visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- Have a verified employment offer from a licensed UK employer who will serve as your sponsor.
- Have the employment offer be in a relevant Healthcare position
- Possess a Sponsorship Certificate provided by your employer.
- Pass the point-based Evaluation.
- Meet the minimum salary threshold for the job offer (or be able to trade points for a lower salary).
What is a Health and Care Worker Visa?
A Health and Care Worker Visa, is the primary work visa that encompasses all healthcare work in the UK allowing healthcare professionals to live and work in the UK. The visa is designed to allow healthcare professionals with job offers to come to the UK to work. The Health and CareWorker Visa is conditional to a job offer in their specified area in healthcare from a sponsor and requires a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
Who is eligible for a Health and Care Worker Visa?
A Health and Care Worker Visa is a visa that any healthcare professional can be eligible for so long as they meet the 70 points required by the UK’s points based system, and that they meet all the mandatory characteristics needed for an application. Here’s a breakdown of the points each characteristic is and whether they are mandatory or tradeable:
- Offer of job from approved sponsor (Mandatory, 20 points)
- Job at appropriate skill level (Mandatory, 20 points)
- Speaks English at required level (Mandatory, 10 points)
- Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (Tradeable, 0 points)
- Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (Tradeable, 10 points)
- Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (Tradeable, 20 points)
- Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee (Tradeable, 20 points)
- Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job (Tradeable, 10 points)
- Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job (Tradeable, 20 points)
The UK is a great place to live and work, and a Health and Care Worker visa gives you the opportunity to experience all that the UK has to offer. Things you can do on a UK Health and Care Worker Visa are:
Live and work in the UK for up to five years at a time.
Bring your partner and children with you to the UK on dependent visas.
attend conferences or training courses related to your work.
Study in the UK without prior approval from the Home Office (however those undertaking studies in STEM subjects should verify with the home office)
Access the UK's healthcare system, the National Health Service (NHS).
Access the UK's education system, which is ranked among the best in the world.
Live and work in any part of the UK.
Travel freely within the UK
The documents you need to submit for a UK Health and Care Worker visa may vary depending on your individual circumstances. Some of the common documents you will need to submit include:
- Your passport or other travel document
- A valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) in a healthcare position from your employer
- Proof of your English language skills
- Proof of your qualifications
- Proof of your salary
- Your tuberculosis test results (if required)
- A criminal record certificate (if required)
- A valid ATAS certificate (if required)
- Proof of your relationship with your partner and children (if they are applying with you)
A UK Health and Care Worker visa is initially granted for a period of up to five years. However, the exact validity of your visa will depend on the duration of your job offer. For example, if you have a job offer for three years, your visa will be granted for three years.
If you want to stay in the UK for longer than five years, you can apply to extend your visa. You can apply for an extension as many times as you like, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.
After five years on the Health and Care Worker visa, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR), which is a permanent right to live and work in the UK.
A Health and Care Worker Visa is a great opportunity for healthcare workers from other countries to come to the UK and work in the NHS or other social care settings. The visa application process is relatively straightforward, and there are a number of benefits to working in the UK on a health and care worker visa.
Processing time for a Health and Care Worker Visa
The processing time for a UK Health and Care Worker visa is currently around 3 weeks for applications made outside the UK and 8 weeks for applications made inside the UK. However, this is just an average processing time and the actual processing time may vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of your application, the workload of the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) office, and whether you have applied for a priority service. Below are the average processing time for each form of priority.
- Ordinary processing takes 2 to 8 weeks.
- Priority processing takes 5 working days.
- Super priority processing takes 24 hours.
For detailed information on specific parts of the Health and Care Worker Visa Process, you can refer to the links on the right to find the answer to your query. If you are unable to find any particular information, please contact us
A Visa is required for any foreign national wishing to enter the United Kingdom. If you do not need a Health and Care Worker Visa, you can choose from the following options instead:
Can you be rejected for a Health and Care Worker Visa?
Yes, you can be rejected for a UK Health and Care Worker Visa. The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will refuse your application if you do not meet all of the eligibility requirements or if you have provided false or misleading information.
Some of the most common reasons for Health and Care Worker visa refusals include:
- Applying with a job that doesn’t fall under the Healthcare eligibility parameters
- Not meeting the skill requirements for the job offer
- Not meeting the English language requirements
- Not meeting the salary requirements
- Not having a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from an employer
- Having a criminal record
- Having been previously refused a UK visa
If you are refused a Health and Care Worker visa, you will be given a letter explaining the reasons for the refusal. You will then have the opportunity to appeal the decision.
Health and Care Worker Visas encompasses all job related to healthcare, meaning that as well as doctors, nurses, technicians (such as radiologist technicians) and Mental Health psychologists are also eligible to apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa.
Any dependents you have on your Health and Care Worker Visa are permitted to be able to work in any job role, except as a sportsperson or coach. The Visa holder must continue to work in their sponsored role.
While the requirements and the points required are the same, to be eligible for a Health and Social Worker visa your Certificate of Sponsorship must state that the job that you would be doing in the UK falls into the Health and Social work category.
Yes you can buy a house in the UK on a Health and Care Worker Visa, you can even get a mortgage on a house in the UK while on a Health and Care Worker Visa
As long as the role in which you are applying for doesn’t have it a requirement and the role is listed under the Health and Care Worker Visa eligible jobs, you will not require a PHD for a successful application.
NHS England may provide funding to help with the costs of relocating international GP trainees’ personal belongings or dependents from overseas once fully qualified. Other applicants may also email the NHS to receive a claims form to submit for relocation reimbursement, however the final decision to reimburse is at the NHS’s discretion.
Senior Care does fall under the Health and Care Worker Visa requirements. Meaning any healthcare professionals who focus in Senior Care can apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa.
You can switch from a Health and Care Worker Visa to a Skilled Worker, however in order to transfer from your Health and Care Worker Visa to a Skilled Worker visa, you will need to meet all of the requirements for the Skilled Worker Visa, requiring a new Certificate of Sponsorship and for you to meet the 70 points required with your new application.
If you lose your job under a Health and Care Worker visa, you may still be able to stay in the UK provided you can secure a qualifying new job role with a different employer licensed to employ Healthcare workers. If you are unable to do so you will be required to leave the UK.