What is the UK Health and Care Visa?
The Health and Care Visa allows qualified doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to come and work for an eligible and licensed employer in the UK. These professionals must have been trained to a recognised standard and have a good knowledge of English.
Which other professionals can apply for this visa?
The scope of the Healthcare and Visa visa has been broadened to include eligible professionals working in the social care sector.
What are the benefits of a Health and Care Visa?
The Health and Care Visa applicants can benefit from fast-track entry, reduced visa fees and dedicated support to enable them to come to the UK with their families.
Furthermore, the Health and Care Visa applicants, and their dependent family members, do not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Who can apply for the Health and Care Visa?
The following professionals are eligible for the Health and Care Visa:
- A person applying under the Skilled Worker route for Entry Clearance or Leave to Remain; and,
- A person taking up a job in one of the occupations specified within the list of Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes listed below; and,
- A person who will be employed or engaged by:
- An NHS Foundation Trust in England, an NHS Trust in England, the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England, Health Research Authority, Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, Human Tissue Authority, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, NHS Blood and Transplant, NHS Business Services Authority, NHS Digital (the Health and Social Care Information Centre), NHS England (the NHS Commissioning Board), NHS Improvement (Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority, NHS Resolution (the NHS Litigation Authority or Public Health England, a Local Authority or Clinical Commissioning Group; or
- A local Health Board in Wales, Health Education & Improvement Wales, Public Health Wales, The Welsh Ambulance Service or Velindre NHS Trust; or
- A Health Board or Special Health Board constituted under section 2 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978, Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service (established under Section 10 of that Act), Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (known as the Care Inspectorate) established under Section 44 of the Public Services (reform) (Scotland) Act 2010 or Scottish Social Services Council established under section 43 of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001; or
- A Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service, Northern Ireland Guardian Ad Litem Agency, Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency, Northern Ireland Practice and Education Committee, Northern Ireland Social Care Council, Patient and Client Council, Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-Being (the Public Health Agency), Regional Business Services Organisation, Regional Health and Social Care Board or Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority; or
- A person who is employed
- To provide, or to support the provision of, regulated activities as prescribed in Schedule 1 (read with Schedule 2) to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 (S.I. 2014/2936), and who is also employed or engaged by an institution or organisation registered with the Care Quality Commission; or
- For the purposes of an establishment or agency in Wales regulated under Part 2 of the Care Standards Act 2000; or
- For the purposes of a service regulated under Part 1 of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016; or
- A person who is employed or engaged by a party to:
- A general medical services contract to provide primary medical services, or an agreement for the provision of primary medical services under section 50 of the NHS (Wales) Act 2006; or
- A general dental services contract to provide primary dental services, or an agreement for the provision of primary dental services under section 64 of the NHS (Wales) Act 2006; or
- A person who:
- Is providing care services as defined in section 47(1) of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and registered under that Act; or
- Is employed or engaged by an organisation registered with Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland; or
- Is, or who is employed or engaged in connection with the provision of services under the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 by, a party (other than a Health Board) to: – an arrangement to provide services under section 2C of that Act; – an agreement to provide services under section 17C of that Act; – a contract to provide services under section 17J of that Act; or – an arrangement to provide services under section 25, 26 or 27 of that Act; or
- A person who is employed or engaged by a General Practitioner Federation or by any entity with which the Northern Ireland Regional Health and Social Care Board has a contract or an arrangement under the Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 to provide Family Practitioner Services; or
- A person who is employed or engaged by a body registered with, or monitored or inspected by, the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, and who, if that body were in England and they were employed or engaged by it, would meet the criteria set out in (vi) a), above; or
- A person employed or engaged by, or registered with, one of the following organisations: General Chiropractic Council; General Dental Council; General Medical Council; General Optical Council; General Osteopathic Council; General Pharmaceutical Council; Health and Care Professions Council; Northern Ireland Social Care Council; Nursing and Midwifery Council; Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland; Scottish Social Services Council (under the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001) or Social Care Wales, or
- A person employed by an organisation providing adult social care services. Adult social care services means any services which an English Local Authority must or may provide or arrange to be provided under:
- Section 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983 – (After-care)
- Part 1 of the Care Act 2014 (Care and Support).
What Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Codes are applicable to the Health and Care Visa?
The following list of Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes are applicable to the Health and Care Visa:
- 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 not elsewhere classified
- 2221 – Physiotherapists
- 2222 – Occupational Therapists
- 2223 – Speech and Language Therapists
- 2229 – Therapy professionals not elsewhere classified
- 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
- 6146 – Senior care workers
The applicants must be taking up a job in one of the above occupations to be qualify for the Health and Care Visa.
What other requirements are applicants required to meet for the Health and Care Visa?
The applicants for the Health and Care Visa will need to meet all relevant criteria for a Skilled Worker visa. These requirements are outlined in the Immigrations Rules at Appendix Skilled Worker and include a requirement for applicants to:
- work for a UK employer which has been approved as a licensed employer by the Home Office
- have a ‘certificate of sponsorship (CoS)’ from their employer with key information about the job role they’ve been offered in the UK
- have a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
- be paid a minimum salary (depending on the type of job the applicant has)
- be able to speak, read, write and understand English at the required level.
What are the requirements for the Employer sponsoring an Health and Care Visa applicant?
The employers are required to include a brief explanation in the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) detailing how the employee meets the Health and Care Visa eligibility requirements with regards to the SOC Code and their Organisation detailed above.
The employer will also be responsible for informing the applicant they are eligible for the Health and Care Visa so the applicant can correctly complete the visa application form. Where an employer is an organisation that provides services commissioned by the NHS, evidence of the contract arrangements with the NHS may need to be provided to demonstrate thatthe applicants are eligible to apply for a Health and Care Visa.
What kind of application and fee reduction/exemption are available to Health and Care Visa applicants?
As the Health and Care visa forms part of the wider Skilled Worker visa scheme, the applicants for the Health and Care Visa will use the standard Skilled Worker application form and, assuming their employer has confirmed how the employee is eligible, the applicant will confirm on the application that they are applying for the Health and Care Visa. Health and Care Visa applicants will pay the reduced application fees as follows:
|CoS issued for 3 years or less – main applicant and dependents||£232|
|CoS issued for over 3 years – main applicant and dependents||£464|
|Shortage Occupation – CoS issued for 3 years or less – main applicant and dependents||£232|
|Shortage Occupation – CoS issued for over 3 years – main applicant and dependents||£464|
The visa fee reduction also applies to partners and dependents of Health and Care Visa applicants who should therefore tick the relevant box on the application.
You should not tick the Health and Care Visa box if your employer has not confirmed on the CoS that you are eligible. Where an application is made, but the applicant does not appear to meet the conditions, that application may be refused for not paying the correct fee. If you are unsure you should check with your sponsor before completing the application.
In case you are applying as a partner or dependent of a person who qualifies for the Health and Care Visa, but the qualifying person arrived in the UK before the Health and Care Visa was available, then you will need confirmation from the sponsor that the person upon whom your application is reliant, is eligible for the visa. The sponsor will need to provide the information, which would normally be included in the Certificate of Sponsorship, to the applicant for inclusion in the partner or dependent application. This should be in the form of a letter or an email from the sponsor and would set out the organization and, if not an NHS body, how the organization is eligible.
Additionally, the applicants and their family are exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Which family members can apply for the Health and Care Visa?
Family is defined as the partner or dependent child of the person applying for the Health and Care Visa. It does not include wider family or those living independently of the health and Care visa applicant.
How does the Fast-Track entry for Health and Care Visa Applicants work?
Normally, the UKVI takes between eight and twenty weeks to decide a visa application. However, UKVI will prioritise the Health and Care Visa applications in that it’ll process majority of Health and Care Visa applications within 3 weeks from the date the applicant registers their biometric information.
What kind of additional support is available to Applicants in the Health and Care Visa scheme?
In addition to the reduced fee and the exemption from Healthcare Surcharge, there will be dedicated support for Health and Care Visa sponsors to contact UKVI’s specialist team if they have any issues with the application process or eligibility for the health and Care Visa. Sponsors can contact UKVI’s dedicated NHS team at the following email address: UKVINHSteam@homeoffice.gov.uk
Can I get legal advice and representation for a Health and Care Visa Application?
As with any legal matter it’s advisable to get specialist legal advice and representation in a Health Care Visa Application. Both the Health and Care Visa Sponsors and Applicants can book an online, email or phone consultation using the button below: