A health and care worker’s visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows a care worker to enter the UK as a skilled worker in this sector. Applicants who apply for this visa should have an offer of employment from a licensed NHS employer or be registered with the Care Quality Commission. The applicant must also meet English language requirements, pass a fit and proper person test and have a minimum of 18 months’ experience in the last three years.
Health and care workers work for a range of different organizations across health care, from NHS Trusts to Care Homes. There are number of different roles within the sector, including nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy and speech and language therapists who work alongside social workers, healthcare scientists and assistants as well as health care support workers. If you’re considering a career in this area, you’ll discover that there is strong demand for these specialists as the UK’s growing aging population puts strain on public services.
You can apply for a Skilled Worker visa if:
- Your employment meets the required salary levels
- You’ve been offered a skilled position in the United Kingdom.
- you can speak, read, write and understand English
- You’ll be working for an authorized UK employer.
To apply for this visa, your potential employer in the UK must hold a sponsor license. You will also need to meet the following criteria:
- Applicant should be holding a job offer from NHS Trust or care home.
- The applicant must have an appropriate qualification that is recognized by the UK NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre) association.
- For some countries of origin, you must fulfill the English language requirements with at least A C1 level in speaking and listening and C2 level in reading and writing in English in International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
- For some countries of origin, you must have your documentation approved and acknowledged by the Visa Application Center or provide a biometric residence permit (BRP).
- Must pass fit and proper person test.
- The applicant needs to have relevant experience of working within the health care sector for more than 18 months within the last three years.
Note: If you are an overseas nurse you will be free from having to meet the English language requirement, if you are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
FINANCES / COST
The process of applying for a visa can be expensive and it’s important that you look into this before moving to the UK. There will also be associated costs with traveling over and settling in, but some will depend on your lifestyle and personal choices.
- Support yourself when you arrive in the UK – you’ll usually need to have at least £1,270 available (unless you’re exempt)
- Health insurance: Insurance rates apply
There are no age limits regarding who can apply for this visa. However, anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian sponsor them in order to be eligible.
EMPLOYMENT & STATUS
As an international health and care worker’s visa holder, you won’t automatically have employment rights with your employer. You’ll also need to ensure that the job is permanent upon entry into the UK, but you will be able to switch employers if needed.
Once you’ve been employed for two years (with 12 hours work per week), you can become indefinite which means that your visa can be renewed every four years. If you’re employed with the NHS then you may be able to gain employment rights as a permanent staff member.
PARTNERS / FAMILY MEMBERS
If you have a partner or spouse/partner who is not from outside of Europe, they will need to apply for a personal permit which allows them to live in the UK.
However, your family members cannot take up any employment while living in the UK.
TRANSFERS AND CHANGES OF JOB
You can change employers once you have been employed for six months – but only if your new job falls within this sector. You’ll also need permission from Home Office before making any transfers.
DOCUMENTS YOU NEED TO PROVIDE
- Police clearance certificate from your home country or you existing country where you have been for more than 3 months in the last year.
- Acknowledged ID copy of passport
- Original degree and transcript from college/university.