UK Health and Care Worker Visa

The Health and Care Worker visa permits medical professionals to travel to or remain in the UK and work in adult social care, the NHS, or one of its suppliers. The visa is valid for up to 5 years, after which you must apply to extend or update it if it has expired or if you change employer or job. 

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply to extend your visa multiple times. If you have been in the UK for 5 years on this visa, you may also be eligible to apply for ‘indefinite leave to remain’, which grants you the right to live, work, and study in the UK for as long as you want, as well as to access benefits if you qualify.

Who can apply for a UK Health and Care Worker Visa?

To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, you need to:

  • be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
  • have a job or job offer in an eligible health or social care role
  • be working for a UK health and care sector employer that’s been approved by the Home Office. Such employers are usually:
    • the NHS
    • Organisations providing medical services to the NHS
    • Adult Social Care providers
  • be able to speak, read, write and understand English, and possibly prove this when you apply
  • have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you have been offered in the UK
  • be paid a minimum salary of £26,200 (or £20,960 for certain occupations or applicants) or the ‘going rate’ for the type of work you’ll be doing – whichever is higher

UK Health and Care Worker Visa – Language Requirements

You may need to prove your ability to read, write, speak, and understand English to at least level B1 on the CEFR scale unless you’ve done this in a previous successful visa application.

You do not need to prove your English language ability if:

  • you’re a doctor, nurse, midwife, or vet and have already passed an English language assessment that is accepted by the relevant regulated professional body
  • You are from one of the following countries or territories:
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Australia
    • The Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • any of the British Overseas Territories
    • Canada
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Jamaica
    • Malta
    • New Zealand
    • St Kitts and Nevis
    • St Lucia
    • St Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • USA

How to Apply for a UK Health and Care Worker Visa

The precise application process for the UK Health and Care Worker Visa will depend on whether you are applying from outside the UK, extending your current visa from inside the UK, or are inside the UK and intending to switch from a different visa. You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the day you intend to start work in the UK.

If you want to change your job or employer, you must apply to update your visa.

You can include your partner and children in your application to stay in the UK, if they are eligible.

UK Health and Care Worker Visa – Document Requirements

When you apply you will need to provide:

  • your certificate of sponsorship reference number – your employer will give you this
  • proof of your knowledge of English
  • a valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality
  • your job title and annual salary
  • your job’s occupation code
  • the name of your employer and their sponsor licence number – this will be on your certificate of sponsorship

You may also be asked to provide:

  • evidence that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK, for example bank statements (unless your certificate of sponsorship shows your employer can support you)
  • proof of your relationship with your partner or children if they’re applying with you
  • your tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed country
  • your UK PhD certificate, or your unique Ecctis reference number (formerly unique UK NARIC reference number) if your qualification is from outside the UK – you’ll need to apply through Ecctis
  • a criminal record certificate, if you are working in certain biological science, biochemical and physical science roles
    • Please note that if you have lived in more than one country, you may need to provide criminal records certificates from each of these countries

UK Health and Care Worker Visa – Costs

The standard application fee for a UK Health and Care Worker Visa depends on how long you intend to be working in the UK. For visas valid for up to 3 years, the fee is £284 per person; for more than 3 years, the fee is £551 per person.

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

You must also have at least £1,270 in your bank account to show you can support yourself in the UK. You will need to have had the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.

You’ll usually need to show proof of this when you apply, unless:

  • you’ve been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months, or;
  • your employer can cover your costs during your first month in the UK

Your partner and children will also need to prove they can support themselves while they’re in the UK.

If you’re unsure how to apply for the UK Health and Care Worker Visa or whether this visa is right for you, you can seek advice from one of our qualified migration agents below.

Demetris Demetriou

Demetris is a dual-qualified lawyer in the UK (Solicitor) and Cyprus (Advocate) with 10+ years of experience in UK immigration. He completed his legal studies at University College London and City University London. Over the course of his career, he held key roles as Head of Immigration at Legal 500 firms and within the Big4, overseeing teams of 15+ fee earners handling 2000+ applications annually.

Demetris went on to co-establish his firm in London and continues to offer innovative solutions and strategic immigration planning to multinationals, SMEs, and private clients.

He personally represented 1500+ clients in 30+ visa routes including investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, sole representatives, students, family visas, global talent, UK ancestry, administrative reviews and appeals. Demetris has managed corporate relocations, conducted immigration law training and implemented post-Brexit immigration policies for corporate clients.

Demetris has been featured in various events and publications focusing on UK immigration, notably at the Cambridge Network, the Westminster Policy Forum and most recently at DGEMS, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.

Tatiani Preifelt

Tatiani has a wealth of expertise in global mobility and corporate immigration. Her ample skills were acquired within leading immigration practices including three out of the Big4 firms in both the UK and Sweden. Tatiani went on to co-establish her firm in London where she continues to advise clients predominantly in corporate, business and skilled work migration.

Having personally relocated to 10 different countries, Tatiani understands the importance of an expedient and successful immigration process and takes pride in delivering a seamless experience to her clients as well.

Over the course of her career, she has assisted over 500 individuals and businesses to obtain the appropriate visa permits in the UK.

Her awarded academic work at The University of Oxford, The London School of Economics, and at The Geneva University is in the fields of Political Science, International Human Rights Law, and Global Migration Governance.

She regularly provides immigration training and has recently participated as a speaker and panellist at DGEMS 2023, a global mobility summit hosted by Forbes India.

If you would like to discuss your UK immigration matter or have any questions about your options for immigrating to the UK, you can book a consultation here.