You are currently viewing Important Aspects You Need To Know Before You Apply For The Health And Care Worker Visa:

Important Aspects You Need To Know Before You Apply For The Health And Care Worker Visa:

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As part of the UK’s new points-based immigration system, workers in the health and care sectors may be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa. Outlined below are the eligibility criteria, expanded to give greater detail for the more complex requirements.

What you can and cannot do with a Health and Care Worker Visa

You can:

  • Work in an eligible job
  • Take on additional work in certain circumstances
  • Do voluntary work
  • Study
  • Bring your partner and children with you as your ‘dependents’ if they are eligible
  • Travel abroad and return to the UK
  • Apply to settle permanently in the UK if you have lived in the UK for 5 years and meet other eligibility criteria

For assistance on visas for coming to the U.K., contact or WhatsApp us on 07583452230. We can connect you to the right professional. Visit to find out more about how we can help you with our other services. If you find this information useful, please follow our social media platforms, like, and share it.

You cannot:

  • Apply for public funds or the State Pension
  • Change jobs or employer unless you update your visa

Eligibility for Health and Care Worker Visa:

Eligibility for the visa is contingent on certain factors. You must:

  • Be qualified as a doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
  • Work in an eligible social care or health job (full list available on the website)
  • Working for an approved UK employer.
  • Have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information on the role offered in the UK
  • Be paid a minimum salary OR the ‘going rate’ depending on the type of work done, whichever is higher
  • Be able to speak, read, write and understand English

Eligible Employers

An employer approved by the Home Office must have made you a job offer before applying for your visa. Such approved employers are:

  • The NHS
  • An organisation providing medical services to the NHS
  • An organisation providing adult social care

UK Visas and Immigration has released a comprehensive list of authorized organizations. If your employer is not approved, they may be eligible to apply for a sponsor license, though these applications take around 8 weeks to process.

Certificates of Sponsorship

Your future employer (referred to as a sponsor) will award a certificate of sponsorship to confirm that you meet eligibility requirements. This will come with a reference number needed for a visa application. If you receive an endorsement certificate, you must apply for a visa within 3 months.

Salary Requirements for Health and Care Worker Visa:

As a general rule, the salary of your UK-based job must be at least £20,480. Note however that if the ‘going rate’ for your job exceeds £20,480 you will usually have to be paid at least the going rate. Each eligible job has its own annual going rate. In most cases, this information is available in the UK Visas and Immigration guidance on National Pay Scales for Eligible Healthcare Occupation Codes. This sorts your job into 1 of 10 bands and the going rate will vary according to which UK country your job is situated in. For medical practitioners (doctors) the going rate varies depending on position, also available in the guidance.

For those in certain jobs, different salary requirements apply. These jobs (with their occupation codes) are:

  • 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
  • 3111: laboratory technicians
  • 3216: dispensing opticians
  • 3217: pharmaceutical technicians
  • 6146: senior care workers

These jobs usually require a salary of at least £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour, whichever is higher. If the ‘going rate’ exceeds both of these, you usually must be paid at least the going rate.

In some instances, those paid less than £25,600 or the going rate for their job may be able to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa. For a salary of at least £20,480 which constitutes between 70% and 90% of the usual going rate for the job.

One of the following criteria must apply to you to meet the salary requirements:
  • The job must be in a shortage occupation; OR
  • You are under 26, studying or a recent graduate, or in professional training; OR
  • You have a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) PhD level qualification relevant to your job (note a relevant PhD level qualification in any other subject requires a minimum salary of £23,040)
  • You have a postdoctoral position in a scientific role

Knowledge of English

You usually must prove your knowledge of the English language when applying unless you have already done so for a previous successful visa application. Applicable methods of proving English proficiency are:

  • Passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
  • Having GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification level 4 or 5, Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school that you began before turning 18
  • Having a degree-level academic qualification that was taught in English

Applicants from several countries need not prove their knowledge of English, a full list of which are available on the gov.UK website. Further, doctors, dentist, nurses, or midwives who have passed an English Language assessment accepted by the relevant regulated professional body also need not prove their knowledge of English.

Financial Requirements

You must show at least £1,270 in your bank account to prove you can support yourself in the UK. This money must be available for at least 28 days in a row, with day 28 being within 31 days of applying for the visa (for example, for an application made on 1st August, the 28th day must be before 1st September).

This proof may not be required where:

  • You have 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; OR
  • Your employer confirms on the certificate of sponsorship that they will support you instead

Standard application fees depend on whether you will be in the UK for up to 3 years (£232 per person) or more than 3 years (£464 per person). Those in certain European countries will have their fees automatically reduced by £55 for their own application. This does not apply to the applications of partners or children who will have to pay the full fee.

Note also that this fee is not included within the financial requirements outlined above.

The Application Process

Initially, several documents are needed as part of the application process. These are:

  • Your certificate of sponsorship reference number (given to you by your employer)
  • Proof of your knowledge of English
  • A valid passport or document showing your identity and nationality
  • Your job title and annual salary
  • Your job’s occupation code
  • The name of your employer and their sponsorship license number (on your certificate of sponsorship)

You may also need the following documents:

  • Firtsly, The evidence of personal savings to support yourself in the UK.
  • And the proof of relationship with your partner or children if they are applying with you.
  • Tuberculosis test results if you are from a listed country (available on the website).
  • A criminal record certificate if you are working in certain jobs.
  • UK PhD certificate or, if your qualification is from outside the UK, Ecctis reference number (you will need to apply through Ecctis).

Similarly, you will also be required to prove your identity, which can be done either through fingerprinting and photographing at a visa application center or using the ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app to scan your identity documents.

Once the application is sent, your identity is proven and you have provided all the necessary documents, you will usually receive a decision within 3 weeks. UK Visas and Immigration grant Health and Care Visa applications priority, ensuring swift decisions in most cases.

Validity of Visa

  • The Health and Care Worker visa is valid for up to 5 years before requiring extension. You must apply to extend or update your visa when it expires or if you change jobs or employer.
  • You can apply to extend your visa as many times as you like as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements

Further information

For assistance on visas for coming to the U.K., contact or WhatsApp us on 07583452230. We can connect you to the right professional. Visit to find out more about how we can help you with our other services. If you find this information useful, please follow our social media platforms, like, and share it.

Reina D'costa

Dual qualified, experienced, practical and proactive solicitor. Founder of Bizlaw UK, a new model legal service consultancy.