Health and Care Visa UK Eligibility

Health and Care Visa UK Eligibility

The Health and Care Visa is a specific visa route to the United Kingdom created for health and social care workers. This visa was launched in 2020 to support the UK’s commitment to tackling the national shortage of healthcare professionals by enabling overseas nationals with relevant skills, experience, qualifications, and language abilities to work in the UK’s health and social care sector.


In the wake of Brexit and Covid-19, a scarcity of healthcare professionals is wreaking havoc on care homes and hospitals across the country. The Health and Care visa offers fast-track admission (15 days vs. 8 weeks for a Skilled Worker visa), reduced visa fees, and exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

The Health and Care Worker visa allows medical professionals to travel to or stay in the UK to work for the NHS, an NHS supplier, or in adult social care, which has been expanded to include further roles.



You must be a doctor, nurse, health professional, or adult social care worker to qualify. Before applying for a visa, applicants must have a job offer and Sponsorship Certificate. This route now includes more Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) codes. Among them but not limited to are:


1242 – Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors

2219 – Health Professionals not elsewhere classified

3219 – Health associate professionals not elsewhere classified

6141 – Nursing auxiliaries and assistants

6146 – Senior care workers


Applicants via this method must also meet all criteria under the Skilled Worker route, including minimum wage, English proficiency, and a list of eligible occupations.


They must also be employed by an approved organization, which must be stated on the Sponsorship Certificate. If the assigning organization is private, they must additionally submit data on their arrangements with the relevant NHS body.


The income threshold is £20,480 or the role's 'going rate' Applicants and family members from specific countries may need to produce tuberculosis test results.


Employers must apply for a sponsor license to hire someone via the health and care route, same as they do for a Skilled Worker visa.


After obtaining a sponsor license, the supporting organization must give a Certificate of Sponsorship to the visa applicant. The certificatee of Sponsorship must describe how the role fits Health and Care route requirements. If the organization delivers NHS services, more proof may be required.



What about Family members?

This approach allows applicants to bring dependents. This includes minor children, spouses, and unmarried partners living with the main applicant for at least 2 years. This route doesn't allow adult relatives or adult children.


Family members of applicants receive reduced fees and no Immigration Health Surcharge. They must verify their relationship to the main applicant with a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or evidence of cohabitation, unless their dependants have already applied as the main applicant's dependants.



The visa can be granted for a maximum of 5 years, with no minimum time, and is indefinitely renewable when the CoS is issued. If the visa is granted for less than 5 years, the individual must renew it before it expires to work in the UK.


After 5 years on this path, applicants and their dependents will be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (subject to some conditions). Junior care workers under SOC code 6145 can only apply for a 12-month visa and cannot renew it.


The fees differ depending on whether the visa is issued for more or less than 3 years. The costing is also the same for each dependant, regardless of age. There may be a £55 fee reduction for the main applicant’s fee for applicants from certain countries.


Application fee: £232 per applicant (3 years and under)/£464 per applicant (over 3 years)

Biometric enrolment fee: £19.20 per applicant

Biometric appointment fee: Variable, may be free or up to £199 depending on the location.

Certificate of Sponsorship: £199

Applicants may also need to demonstrate financial maintenance if their sponsor does not certify this.


We can help prepare you for the experience you need to make your application stand out.


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