The new Health and Care Worker Visa for overseas medical workers opened for applications in August 2020.
This visa route offers a wonderful opportunity for foreign medical workers who would like to work in the UK. The visa route has many advantages. It is also possible for the dependants of the medical worker to join him or her in the UK.
How to qualify
To qualify you for the Health and Care Worker visa, you have to fulfil certain very specific criteria.
- You have to have a job offer from the National Health Service (NHS), an organisation providing medical services to the NHS or an organisation providing adult social care.
- Your sponsor (the organisation offering you the job) have to confirm that you are eligible. The sponsor will supply you with a certificate of sponsorship to prove your eligibility.
- You must be a qualified:
- Health professional
- Adult social care professional.
- Fulfil the English language requirement.
- Fulfil the maintenance requirement.
- Be paid an appropriate salary.
- If you will be working with vulnerable people, you have to provide a criminal record certificate from all the countries that you have lived in for twelve months or longer in the past ten years.
Length of Stay
You will be able to come to the UK for a maximum time of five years.
It is also possible to extend the visa for up to another five years. As long as the total stay is not more than six years.
Switching to the Health and Care Worker Visa
It is possible to switch to this visa from within the UK. You have to be in the UK under one of the following routes:
- Tier 1 visa
- Some Tier 2 visas
- Student Visa, if you have an eligible qualification and will complete your study course in three months, or if you have completed at least twelve months of a PhD.
- Start-up Visa
- Innovator Visa
- The dependant of Tier 4 visa holder
- A representative of an overseas business
In all other circumstances, you have to leave the UK and apply from abroad.
Right to Work on the Health and Care Worker Visa
Apart from the work your sponsor described in the Certificate of Sponsorship, you can also do the following:
- Do a second job in certain circumstances. Please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant to make sure you adhere to the specific rules.
- Do voluntary work.
- You may study as long as it does not interfere with your job.
There are some things that you cannot do:
- You cannot own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares.
- Apply for a second job until you have started the work at your sponsor.
- You do not have access to public funds.
Spouses and dependants
Your spouse and dependants under the age of 18 years old will be able to accompany you to the UK.
A spouse can be a husband, wife or unmarried partner. Children over the age of 18 years old will also be allowed to apply as a dependant. However, they have to be currently in the UK as a dependant.
Immigration Health Surcharge
There is no Immigration Health Surcharge payable. This concession is a huge saving for migrants on the Health and Care Worker Visa route.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
At the end of successful completion of five years on the Health and Care Worker visa, you will be able to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain.