Before moving to the UK, you will need to obtain a Health and Care Worker visa. This allows you to work and remain in the country for up to five years and may be extended if required.
Our clients provide full sponsorship for the Health and Care Worker visa and we offer plenty of advice and assistance throughout the application process.
Applying for a Health and Care Worker visa
The earliest you can apply for a Health and Care Worker visa is up to three months before you’re due to start work in the UK. The date you can start work will be listed on your certificate of sponsorship.
You should receive a decision on your visa three weeks from the date you provide your biometric information. However, you can pay a fee to fast-track this process.
Health and Care Worker visa application fees
A Health and Care Worker visa for up to three years costs £232, while a visa for more than three years costs £464. The fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK.
If you are from one of the following countries, your will receive £55 reduction in your application fee:
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden or Turkey.
Partners and dependants will also need to pay the same amount to obtain a visa, however, the fee reduction is only applicable for your application, and partners and dependant must still pay full application fees.
How long can I stay in the UK on a Health and Care Worker visa?
You can stay and work in the UK with a Health and Care Worker visa for up to five years, after which you can extend as many times as you like as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements. Eligible partners and dependents can be included in your application to stay in the UK.
If you wish to change jobs or work with a different employer, you will need to apply to update your visa.
Apply for your visa outside of the UK
When applying for a Health and Care Worker visa, you’ll be asked if you’re eligible for the Health and Care option later in your application.
As part of the application, you’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit). You’ll be able to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you state you’ll arrive in the UK.
Visa decisions can be fast-tracked, but this does depend on what country you’re in. Check if your visa application centre offers faster decisions and other services.
It is worth noting that applications for a Health and Care Worker visa must be completed online.
Applying to extend or switch your visa in the UK
The conditions to applying to extend your visa will depend on the date you applied for your first visa or when you got your certificate of sponsorship.
There may also be a cost of £19.20 to have your biometric information (fingerprints and a photograph) taken in order to extend or switch your visa in the UK.
Get a faster decision on your application
If you’re applying to extend or switch in the UK you can pay for the priority service. This fast-track system allows you to receive a decision within five working days at an extra cost of £500.
If you require a faster service, you can pay an extra £800 for the super-priority service, allowing you to get a decision:
- By the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information, if your appointment is on a weekday, or;
- Two working days after providing your biometric information, if your appointment is at the weekend
To be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional, or adult social care professional
- Work in an eligible health or social care job
- Work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office
- Have a valid certificate of sponsorship for your job - A certificate of sponsorship holds your personal details and information about the job you’ve been offered. It’s an electronic record, not a paper document. Your sponsor will give you a certificate of sponsorship reference number to add to your application. You can only use your certificate of sponsorship reference number once and it must be used within three months of entering the country.
- Be paid a minimum salary – this will depend on the type of work you do
- Have a confirmed job offer before applying for your visa
- Prove your knowledge of English by:
- Passing an approved English language test such as the IELTS or OET
- Having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARIC as being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD
- Have personal savings so you can support yourself when you arrive in the UK - You must have at least £1,270 in your bank account for at least 28 days, within 31 days before you apply. This is to prove you can support yourself. You must also show that your partner and/or dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.
- Partners must have £285 available to them.
- The first dependant must have £315 available to them, then for each additional child it is £200, whether they apply with you or separately.
- This is in addition to the £1,270 you must have to support yourself.
- If applying with your partner or child, provide prove of your relationship with them.
- Show you can travel and provide your travel history for the past five years.
- Have tuberculosis test results if you’re from a listed country – See listed of countries here.
- Provide a criminal record certificate from any country you’ve lived in for a period of longer than 12 months in the last 10 years if you will be working with vulnerable people.
- A blank page in your passport if you are from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway or Liechtenstein, or, if you are from one of these countries but do not have a biometric passport with a chip in it.
- Provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
Do You Have Right of Abode?
Having 'right of abode' means you are allowed to live or work in the UK without any immigration restrictions; this means you won’t need a visa to come to the UK and there’s no limit on the length of time you can spend in the country.
All British citizens automatically have right of abode in the UK. If you have a UK passport describing you as a 'British Citizen' or 'British subject with a right of abode', you won’t need to apply for a certificate of entitlement.
If your parents or grandparents were born in the UK, you will be able to obtain a right of abode or entry visa. This will allow you to work in the UK without sponsorship. These visas can be obtained from your local Visa Office or Consular Office. You will be required to provide your birth certificate along with the birth certificates for your parents/grandparents who were born in the UK. There is no fee for this type of visa.
What is a certificate of entitlement?
The certificate of entitlement goes into your passport and proves that you have the right to abode in the UK, but you will need to apply for a new one when your passport expires.
Please consult the checklist of supporting documents which you will also need to submit with your form to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) in Liverpool.
A certificate of entitlement will cost you £372 if you apply from the UK. You will get a decision within six months of submitting your form.
Applying for your certificate from outside the UK
To apply for your certificate of entitlement from outside of the UK, it will cost you £388.