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Health and Care Visa

Health and care worker visa - key features

The Health and Care Worker visa is a type of Skilled Worker visa. This visa category is designed for medical professionals to move to or stay in the UK to undertake an eligible role with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.

In addition to meeting the standard requirements for a Skilled Worker a successful candidate for a Health and Care Worker visa must be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional, and have been offered a role in an eligible health and social care job, with an employer who has been approved by the Home Office.

Eligible roles are as follows:

  • Health services and public health managers and directors
  • Health care practice managers
  • Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
  • Biochemists and biomedical scientists
  • Physical scientists
  • Generalist medical practitioners
  • Specialist medical practitioners
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Psychotherapists and cognitive behaviour therapists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Other psychologists
  • Therapy professionals not elsewhere classified
  • Midwifery nurses
  • Registered community nurses
  • Registered specialist nurses
  • Registered nurse practitioners
  • Registered mental health nurses
  • Registered children’s nurses
  • Other registered nursing professionals
  • Pharmacists
  • Optometrists
  • Dental practitioners
  • Medical radiographers
  • Paramedics
  • Podiatrists
  • Social workers
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Dispensing opticians
  • Pharmaceutical technicians
  • Medical and dental technicians
  • Nursing auxiliaries and assistants
  • Ambulance staff (excluding paramedics)
  • Dental nurses
  • Care workers and home carers
  • Senior care workers

Employers approved to sponsor Health and Care Worker visas are those who hold an immigration sponsor licence and who are part of the NHS, an organisation providing medical services to the NHS, or an organisation providing adult social care.

Length and conditions of stay in the UK

The candidate can apply for a visa of up to 5 years’ duration, however, visas will be granted in accordance with the work start and end data entered onto the certificate of sponsorship by the UK sponsoring employer. It is common to secure a 3-year visa initially.

The visa can be extended in the UK towards the end of its term.

The sponsored worker must work for the sponsor in the role described on their certificate of sponsorship, but they can also undertake supplementary part time work, work on a voluntary basis and study, providing this does not interfere with their main sponsored work.

Sponsored workers can access NHS services in the UK. They are not however permitted to access public funds.

Health and care worker – additional benefits

  • There is no limit on the number of sponsored workers a UK employer can employ, provided they are filling genuine vacancies.
  • This route benefits from lower visa fees.
  • Health and Care Worker visa applicants are exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge.
  • Switching: Most visa holders can switch into the Health and Care Worker route from within the UK.
  • Dependants: The sponsored worker’s spouse or partner and children can secure dependant visas to accompany or join the worker. Dependants who are over 18 years old can work for any employer at any skill and salary level, and all dependants can study in the UK.
  • Settlement: The Skilled Worker route enables visa holders and their dependants to settle, which means securing indefinite leave to remain, after a period of 5 years’ residence in the UK.

How can our immigration solicitors help?

Our team of immigration solicitors can deal with all aspects of sponsorship for Health and Care Workers for your business and your candidates.  

We provide a responsive, full-service approach to ensure every visa matter is dealt with successful and with a short lead time between offer of employment and grant of visa clearance. With Freeths' expert immigration support, you can be confident of securing the required immigration permission for every skilled candidate your business needs.

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