The best visa option for healthcare workers looking to relocate to the UK is the health and care worker visa. With a health and care worker visa, you can move to the UK to work with the National Health Service (NHS).
This type of visa comes with special privileges like reduced visa fees, exemption from the health surcharge and fast-tracked visa approval.
The Health and care visa also allows you to bring your dependents (partner and children) to the UK, study, volunteer with NGOs and take on additional work in cases. You can travel to other countries and return to the UK at will. You can also apply for permanent residency after living in the UK for five (5) years. However, you can’t change jobs or your employer unless you update your visa.
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Requirements for a Health and Care Worker Visa
To qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa, you must:
1. Be a qualified healthcare worker; doctor, nurse, radiographer, physiotherapist, medical lab scientist, optometrist, etc.
2. Be employed by an approved healthcare employer in the UK.
3. Your job must be in one of the following occupation codes:
- 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
Do well to ask your employer for your occupation code to check if it falls into any of these categories.
4. Meet the salary requirement of at least £20,480. If your job doesn’t meet the salary requirement, you’ll need to show proof of having at least £1,270 in your bank account. The money should be available for at least 28 days in a roll. This is to ensure that you can pay your bills and support your dependents in the UK.
Documents for Health and Care Worker Visa Application
Once you’ve met the above requirements, then you can submit the following documents:
A valid certificate of sponsorship. This document should contain details of your job role, employer, salary and unique reference number.
A confirmed job offer from an approved employer in the UK.
Proof of proficiency in the English Language.
Proof of sufficient funds.
International passport or travel documents.
Means of identification.
Tuberculosis test results for selected countries.
A criminal record certificate. This is to ensure that you have a clean record as you will be working with vulnerable people.
Visa Application Guidelines
We recommend you apply for your visa three (3) months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. Your resumption date should be clearly stated on your certificate of sponsorship.
You can apply for a health and care worker visa through the official website of the UK government. You will fill out an online visa application with your personal information and other travel details.
After filling out the form, you will pay a visa application fee. The application fee depends on the duration of your stay in the UK.
If you intend to stay for up to three (3) years or less, you will pay £247. Anything more than that (above three years), costs £479.
This fee also applies to any dependents who are relocating with you. Unlike other visas, you are exempted from paying the immigration health surcharge.
You will also book an appointment at the nearest visa application centre, UK embassy or consulate to enrol your biometrics.
Once you’ve completed the application process, your visa will be approved or declined within three (3) weeks.
That’s all you need to know about applying for a health and care worker visa. Now, you can proceed with your visa application. Best of luck!