UK Health and Care Worker visa
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UK Health and Care Worker visa

If you are a medical professional looking to work in the UK you may be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, find out more about the visa requirements and application process.


The Health and Care Worker visa is open to doctors, nurses, and other qualified adult health and social care professionals who wish to undertake suitable work in the NHS, an NHS provider, or in adult social care.

The Health and Care Worker visa can lead to settlement in the UK after 5 years and partners and dependent children can join applicants.

Who is eligible for a health and welfare visa?

The health and care visa is only open to qualified doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals who will be working in eligible roles in the UK healthcare sector. In addition to meeting the work requirements, there are also a number of other criteria that you must meet to qualify for the visa.

You may be able to get a health and welfare visa if you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You are a qualified doctor, nurse, healthcare professional or adult social care professional
  • You will work in one of the eligible occupations in the health or social care sector
  • You have a job offer from a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office
  • You have a certificate of sponsorship from your UK employer which provides information about the role you have been offered
  • You meet the salary requirements, which vary depending on the type of role you will fill

You can read, write, speak and understand English at least at level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. You do not need to meet this requirement if you are from a majority English-speaking country or if you have an eligible degree-level academic qualification taught in English.

Salary requirements for the Health and Care visa

Typically, you need to be paid at least £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour to meet the minimum salary requirements for the Health and Care Worker route. Your minimum salary will be higher than this if the going rate for your role is higher.

Each occupation code has its own going rate, you must earn at least the going rate for your role. For example, if your salary is £28,000 a year but the going rate for your profession is £30,000, you need to earn at least £30,000 to meet the minimum salary requirement.

In some circumstances, you may still qualify for this visa if your salary is less than £25,600 per year. You can earn less than this amount if one of the following applies:

  • Your job is in a role on the Shortage Occupations List
  • You are under 26 years old, you are a student or recent graduate or you are in professional training
  • You have a STEM doctoral qualification relevant to your job
  • You have a postdoctoral position in a scientific role

If any of the above apply, you can be paid between 70 and 90% of the going rate for your job, provided your salary is at least £20,480 per year. If you have a relevant doctoral qualification, your salary can be £23,040 per year.

Documents required for health and welfare visa applicants

When applying for a health and care worker visa you will need to submit certain documents and information to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility criteria. You will need to provide:

  • The reference number of your sponsorship certificate
  • Evidence of your English proficiency: This could be your Secure English Language Test (SELT) results or evidence of an eligible academic qualification taught in English.
  • A valid passport or other national identity document
  • The occupation code for your job
  • Your job title and your annual salary
  • Who your employer is and their sponsor’s license number – this will be on your CoS
  • Your tuberculosis test results if you are from a country where testing is required
  • Proof that you have enough personal savings to support yourself in the UK
  • For some job roles, you may also need to submit a criminal record certificate. If you intend to bring eligible family members with you to the UK, you will need to provide documents proving your relationship with them.

All your documents should be in English or Welsh, if your documents are in another language you will need to have them translated by an officer.

How much does it cost to apply?

The cost of applying for a health and care visa varies depending on the length of your stay in the UK. If you plan to stay for up to 3 years, the application fee is £247. If you plan to stay for more than 3 years, the application fee is £479.

In addition to the application fee, you will also need to demonstrate that you have at least £1,270 in your bank account to support yourself in the UK.

What can I do with a health and care worker visa?

When you live in the UK on a health and welfare visa, you have to comply with some immigration rules. This visa allows you to do the following:

  • Work in a suitable job
  • Do voluntary work
  • Accept additional work (only in some circumstances)
  • Study
  • Bring your partner and dependent children to join you
  • Travel in and out of the UK
  • Apply for ILR after 5 years

While this visa allows you to do many things in the UK, there are some restrictions, you can’t access most public funds or the state pension, and you can’t change employers unless you upgrade your visa.

How to apply for a health and welfare visa?

You need to apply online for the Health and Care Worker Visa, you can do this using the application form available on the gov. uk website.

Apply for this visa using the Skilled Worker route, when applying you will be asked if you are applying for a Health and Care Workers Visa as part of your application, please ensure you select Yes on this application.

As part of your application, you will need to prove your identity; you can do it two ways. You can use the UK Immigration: ID Check app to scan your ID or you can attend an appointment at a visa application center near you to have your biometric information captured, which is your photograph and Fingerprints.

To complete your application you need to submit the application form, prove your identity, submit supporting documents and pay the application fee.

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the date you intend to start working in the UK. You will usually receive a decision on your application within 3 weeks.

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