UK Health and Care Worker Visa

Those who want to access the UK to carry out a medical or care-based role can do so through the Health and Care Worker Visa. It allows those who have secured an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier, or adult social care to stay in the UK for up to 5 years.

It can be applied for from outside the UK as well as inside the UK, and you may switch from another visa to the Health and Care Worker Visa. You may bring dependents so long as you meet the requirements to do so.

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About The Health and Care Worker Visa

The Health and Care Worker Visa offers a clear route to ILR (Indefinite Leave To Remain) through 5 years of continuous residency in the UK. This will provide migrants with the eligibility to pursue British Citizenship later down the road.

Health and Care Worker Visa requirements

To successfully apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa, you must make sure that you meet all of the relevant requirements. This may include more general requirements such as an acceptable knowledge of English, and evidence that you can financially support yourself and any dependants that you may bring.

There are further requirements that you must meet to receive this visa such as a Certificate of Sponsorship from your employer and proof that you meet the specified salary requirements for your job.

Please note that there are certain exemptions for doctors, dentists, nurses, or midwives.

General requirements

You must:

  • Have a level of English that meets or exceeds level B1 on the CEFR scale (doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives exempt if you’ve already passed an English Language assessment that is accepted by the relevant regulated professional body).
  • Have proof of available finances to support yourself as well as any dependants that you wish to bring along.
  • Be able to prove that your relationship with any dependants that you wish to bring along is legitimate.

Financial requirements

The financial requirements that you must meet to successfully apply for a Health and Care Worker Visa will depend on your health or care role.

From 11 March 2024, the minimum salary for occupations on a national pay scale would be £29,000 per year. For Health & Care Visa occupations on the Immigration Salary List, the income threshold would be the higher of either £23,200 or the occupation going rate.

Meeting different financial requirements is very much dependent on your role and if any exceptions are met. For Work Visa specific advice, we highly recommend you get in touch so our experienced lawyers can make sure your application meets the requirements for your role.

Job requirements

You must:

  • Be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional, or adult social care professional.
  • Secure work in an eligible health or social care job.
  • Have a UK employer in the health and care sector that is approved by the Home Office.
  • have a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK.

Employment requirements

You must either be employed or have a job offer by an approved UK health and care sector employer, to successfully apply for the Health and Care Worker Visa. Your employment should fall into one of the three following categories:

  • You are employed by the NHS.
  • You are employed by an organisation providing medical services to the NHS.
  • You are employed by an CQC-registered organisation providing adult social care,
  • Only CQC-registered providers in England will be able to sponsor Health and Care Visa applicants (care providers with existing sponsored workers in non-regulated activities before 11 March 2024 should be able to continue to extend the Visa sponsorship of these employees)

Your employer should also be approved to provide you with a Certificate of Sponsorship.

Health and Care Visa costs

The application fee for this visa depends on your intended period of stay. The application for up to 3 years will cost £284 per person, while the application for more than 3 years will be £551 per person. You would be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS fee) under this route.

You must also be able to prove that you can support yourself financially when you come to the UK. That means having at least £1,270 in your bank account readily available for up to 28 days before your application is made.

There are additional costs that must also be considered, such as fees for legal assistance, which is highly advisable to receive your Health and Care Worker Visa on the first attempt. This is because the Administrative Review or Appeal Process can prove to be extremely time-consuming as well as costly.

Family Members & Unmarried Partners:

Health & Care Worker Visa holders can bring dependents to the UK, except care workers (SOC 6145) or senior care workers (SOC 6146) from 11 March 2024. However, there are exceptions:

~ This change does not apply to a Worker who has held or applied for the Skilled Worker Visa or Health and Care Visa before 11 March 2024

~ If your Child is born in the UK, you may also add them as your Dependent.

Therefore if the above exceptions apply, you may still apply for the Dependent Visas during your Visa sponsorship for partner or children have not joined you on the Health & Care Worker Visa route.

Dependents enjoy the right to work (in the NHS or elsewhere) and study.

ILR through the Health and Care Workers Visa

As your visa lasts up to 5 years before needing to be extended, it is a great option for health and care workers who are seeking Indefinite Leave to Remain. As you will have met the requirement of 5-years of stay, you can work towards further requirements such as passing the Life in the UK Test.

If you are a health or care professional seeking a path towards ILR or eventual British Citizenship, the Health and Care Workers Visa offers a clear and achievable route.

How QC Immigration can assist your application

At QC Immigration, we have a proven process that has led to successful visa applications. Our team has an in-depth and practical knowledge of immigration law and will be able to assist you with pragmatic guidance.

Increase the likelihood of a granted application by contacting us today, you can click here to contact us online, email us at, or phone us on 0203 637 8633.


How long will it take to get a decision on my Health and Care Worker Visa application?

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What if I work in the private health industry?

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What happens if my situation changes?

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