The health and care worker visa could last for 3 to 5 years depending on the duration of the sponsor’s license, however, this can always be extended. You will need to apply to extend or update your current visa before it expires when you change jobs or change employers.

It also includes the support of a dedicated team within UKVI in processing visa applications for migrants and their dependent families. Your visa can last for up to 5 years before you need to extend it. You’ll need to apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employers. To qualify for this type of visa, your job must be in one of the following occupation codes to qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa:

Occupation codesEligible jobs
1181Health services and public health managers and directors
1242Residential, day, and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
2112Biological scientists and biochemists
2113Physical scientists
2211Medical practitioners
2214Ophthalmic opticians
2215Dental practitioners
2217Medical radiographers
2219Health professionals not elsewhere classified eg audiologists and occupational health advisers
2222Occupational therapists
2223Speech and language therapists
2229Therapy professionals not elsewhere classified eg osteopaths and psychotherapists
2442Social workers
3111Laboratory technicians
3216Dispensing opticians
3217Pharmaceutical technicians
3218Medical and dental technicians
3219Health associate professionals not elsewhere classified
6141Nursing auxiliaries and assistants
6143Dental nurses
6145Care workers & home carers
6146Senior care workers

If your job in the health and care sector is listed among the above occupations, to qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa, you must:

  • Have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from a UK-licensed sponsor
  • Have the offer of a qualifying job that meets the relevant salary threshold
  • Proof that you are able to speak, read, write, and understand English (you can prove that you are able to speak, read, write, and understand English language by passing a secure English language exam; IELTS) or evaluating your university degree that was taught in English language through a UK body called ECCTIS (Education Counseling and Credit Transfer Information Service).
  • Have valid tuberculosis test results, if you are from a listed country.
  • Be able to provide a criminal record certificate from any country where you have lived for 12 months or more within the last 10 years if you will be working with vulnerable people as a healthcare professional.
  • A statement or letter from your bank showing you have enough personal savings unless your CoS shows your A-rated sponsor can support you instead.
  • A current, valid passport or travel document to prove you can travel.

How to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa

Once you have completed all the relevant information, the next stage of the application process is to pay the appropriate fee. The standard application fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:

  • Up to 3 years – £247 per person
  • More than 3 years – £479 per person

The fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK. 

Can my partner or dependents join me in the UK?

If you are already in the UK and would like your dependents to join you, your UK sponsor will need to provide written confirmation that your family member is eligible to do so based on your occupation. This should be in the form of a letter or email from the sponsor, setting out the organization for which you work, and, if not an NHS body, how the organization qualifies. 

What are the Health and Care visa processing times?

Upon receipt, your application for the Health and Care Worker visa will be prioritized and fast-tracked by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

As a result, the vast majority of healthcare professionals applying on this route can usually expect a decision on their application within 3 weeks from the date they provide their biometric information.

Taking on additional work

Between now and the 27th of  August 2023, you can now do additional paid work on a Health and Care Worker visa as long as you’re still doing the job you’re being sponsored for. You can also do unpaid voluntary work.

You may need to apply to update your visa to do additional paid work. This will depend on the type of work you’re doing and the hours you’re going to work.

Work you can do without updating your visa

If your job is not eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, you can still work up to 20 hours a week if the job is in a shortage occupation.

Updating your visa

You’ll need to update your visa if you’re going to either:

  • Get a job that’s not an eligible Health and Care Worker visa job or in a shortage occupation
  • Work more than 20 hours in a job in a shortage occupation that’s not eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa

To apply, you’ll need to:

  • Get a new certificate of sponsorship from your second employer
  • Include a letter with your application explaining that you want to change your current permission to stay

Do you have a question about the Health and Care Visa?

Lydygold consultancy is a team of dedicated experts in the fields of travel and immigration, with years of experience and a deep understanding of the industry. For advice and assistance please contact us by email at [email protected]

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