Do you plan on working in the health sector in the United Kingdom? If so, the visa to apply for is the UK Health and Care Worker Visa.
The health industry is highly sensitive, especially in a country like the UK. As a result, the process of getting a health and care worker visa is relatively intricate.
Nevertheless, you will find it uncomplicated if you have the necessary documentation and meet all eligibility requirements.
Read on to find out more about this visa, all the requirements, and how to apply.
What Is the Health and Care Worker Visa?
The UK Health and Care Worker Visa permits you to come to the UK and work with the National Health Service (NHS), an NHS supplier, or as an adult social caregiver.
It’s a long-term visa that allows you to stay in the UK for up to five years. As a result, the visa easily leads to indefinite leave to remain status (permanent resident). According to the UK Home Office, the minimum duration requirement to become a permanent resident is five years.
The UK Health and Care Worker Visa has a similar application procedure as the Skilled Worker Visa. You must have a job offer, and your employer will stand in as your sponsor. Having a health and care worker visa sponsor is important because you need a certificate of sponsorship.
Furthermore, the visa also has a minimum salary requirement. In other words, you must be paid higher than a specific amount by your employer to qualify.
You can apply for the UK Health and Care Worker Visa from inside or outside the UK. The visa accommodates dependents, so your family members can travel with you.
While on a health and care worker visa, you can do more than work in an eligible job. You can take up additional work in specific circumstances or do voluntary work. You can also study and travel in and out of the UK whenever necessary.
UK Health and Care Worker Visa Eligibility
The UK Health and Care Worker Visa attracts many eligibility requirements. First, you must be a qualified doctor, nurse, adult social care professional, or other health professional.
Furthermore, you must have an eligible job offer from an approved UK employer. It’s important to verify if your job is eligible before beginning your visa application.
Job Eligibility Requirement
The UK Home Office maintains a comprehensive list of jobs eligible for the health and care worker visa. You can check the list on the official website; there are twenty-nine jobs in total.
If your job isn’t on the list and your job offer is health-related, you should check if you can apply for the Skilled Worker Visa.
Suppose your job offer is from the NHS. In that case, you need not worry about its eligibility as your employer is the UK government.
However, suppose it’s from a different organization. In that case, you should check the GOV UK website to confirm that your employer is approved to hire you. Only approved employers can issue sponsorship certificates.
The minimum salary you should be paid to qualify for the UK Health and Care Worker Visa is £20,480. However, for some eligible jobs – nine out of the twenty-nine – you need to meet different salary requirements.
These nine jobs include:
- Health services and public health managers and directors
- Residential, day, and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
- Biological scientists and biochemists
- Physical scientists
- Laboratory technicians
- Dispensing opticians
- Pharmaceutical technicians
- Care workers and home carers
- Senior care workers
The above jobs have annual going rates higher than £20,480. Therefore, your salary should at least reach the annual going rate of the job to qualify.
If your job is any of the nine, you can check the going rates table to confirm the salary requirement. However, for most jobs that require a higher salary, the minimum is £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour.
Knowledge of English Requirement
Like other UK work visas, you must demonstrate that you can speak and understand the English language. It’s mandatory since you’ll live in the country for multiple years.
You don’t have to demonstrate knowledge of English if you’re from the USA, Canada, and Australia; there are native-English-speaking countries.
Also, you won’t have to demonstrate knowledge of English if you’re from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, St Lucia, Jamaica, New Zealand, and other Commonwealth realms countries.
If you’re not from an exempt country, you must take and pass a Secure English Language Test (SELT). You must take this test whether you’re inside or outside the UK. the approved test providers include:
If you are in the UK
- Trinity College London
- IELTS SELT Consortium
If you are outside of the UK
- PSI Services (UK) Ltd
- IELTS SELT Consortium
The test will assess your ability to speak, write, listen, and read English. However, you won’t need to rake the test if you already took and passed an English assessment test accepted by the relevant regulated professional body.
What Are the Required Documents?
The majority of documents you must provide for your visa application are to confirm your position as an approved health professional. Hence, the primary documents include:
- Document to prove that you are qualified to work as a health professional.
- Certificate of sponsorship from your employer.
- Your employer’s sponsor license – or just the license number.
- Document showing your job title, occupation code, and annual salary.
- Your SELT result to demonstrate your knowledge of English.
Other general visa application documents you’ll need to provide include:
- Proof that you have enough funds to support your stay in the UK.
- A tuberculosis test result, if you’re from a mandatory country.
- A criminal record certificate if you’ll work as a biological scientist, biochemist, or physical scientist.
- A valid international passport with at least one blank page.
- Visa standard passport photographs.
- Travel history, if you’ve resided in more than one country in the past.
When it comes to visa applications, nothing is ultimate. As a result, the UK Home Office may request additional documents not listed in the above lists.
Processing Fees and Financial Requirement For The UK Health and Care Worker Visa
The visa processing fee will depend on the visa’s validity length. If your visa will be valid for up to three years, you’ll pay £247. On the other hand, if your visa will be valid for more than three years, you’ll pay £479.
Whether you’re applying inside or outside the UK, the fee doesn’t change.
Aside from the processing fee, you must also have other funds to support your stay. As mentioned previously, proof that you have enough funds is an important requirement.
You need at least £1,270 to prove you can support your stay in the UK. However, if you’re traveling with beneficiaries, the amount is higher. You’ll need an extra £285 for your partner, £315 for one child, and £200 for each additional child.
The amount must be in your bank account for at least 28 consecutive days, and the last day must be within 31 days before you submit your application.
However, you may not need to meet this financial requirement if your employer decides to sponsor you – which is most likely. If your employer is funding your stay, it must be stated in your certificate of sponsorship.
UK Health and Care Worker Visa Application Procedure
The UK Health and Care Worker visa involves two application processes. First, your employer will apply and obtain a sponsorship license so that they can issue you a certificate of sponsorship. Second, you apply for the visa online after receiving the certificate of sponsorship.
Application for a sponsorship license costs £1,476, which your employer will pay. It takes around eight weeks to process, and your employer should notify you once the license is ready.
A certificate of sponsorship significantly increases your chances of getting a UK Health and Care Worker Visa. As a result, you shouldn’t begin your visa application without first securing it.
The sponsorship certificate is not a physical document but an electronic record. You will require the reference number on it for your visa application. After receiving your sponsorship certificate, you have three months to apply for your visa.
The online application is relatively seamless, but you’ll need an appointment at the embassy to submit your documents and biometrics. If your dependents are to accompany you, they must apply for their visas separately.
The UK Health and Care Worker Visa takes around three weeks to process. You can get a faster verdict if eligible by applying for the priority or super-priority service.
You’ll get a verdict by the end of the following working day with the super priority service and in less than five working days with the priority service.
How Long Does the Visa Last?
With the UK Health and Care Worker Visa, you can stay in the country for up to five years. Notably, your visa can be valid for three, four, or five years. It can’t be valid for less than three years.
You can extend your visa to continue staying in the UK when your visa expires. However, suppose your visa was valid for up to five years. In that case, you can skip the extension procedure and apply for permanent residency instead.
As a result, you may never have to leave the UK if you enter on this visa. To weigh your chances of residing permanently in the UK, you can seek the services of UK health and care worker visa lawyers.
How To Apply for Extension
You would need to apply for an extension instead of permanent residency if your visa wasn’t valid for up to five years. The application for an extension has specific requirements.
Importantly, you must work in the same job position as when you got the initial visa. Your employer and occupation code must be the same. Also, you must meet the salary requirements.
You’ll need to pay a new processing fee and submit your biometrics. It takes the UK Home Office around three weeks to complete processing a health and care worker visa extension. You can get a faster verdict if you pay for the priority or super-priority processing service.
While you wait for the verdict, you must not leave the UK. Your application for an extension automatically becomes invalid if you travel out.
Suppose you no longer work in the same job as your initial visa. In that case, you’ll need first to update your visa before applying for extension. You must update your visa before it expires, or you may have to leave the UK.
Updating your visa is relatively straightforward. What’s important is for your new job and employer to meet the eligibility requirement. It’ll be easier if you’re only switching jobs and not changing employers.
It’ll be illegal to stay working in a new job without getting approval for your visa update application. You can apply for the update at most three months before the start of your new job.
The UK Health and Care Worker Visa fully accommodates beneficiaries as a long-term visa. Your spouse and children can join you in the UK, and their visa will be valid as long as yours is valid.
Qualifying dependents include:
- Your spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner.
- Your children under 18.
You must prove your relationship with both classes of beneficiaries. As mentioned earlier, you’ll need extra cash to support their stay. Your dependents may be able to study and work in some jobs in the UK.
The UK Health and Care Worker Visa is a revered route for health professionals. It has many benefits, with the zenith being the possibility of becoming a permanent resident in the UK. Hopefully, this post will help you scale your visa application and ultimately obtain the visa.