Health and Care Worker Visa: Medical Professionals and Social Care

The Health and Care Worker visa is part of the Skilled Worker visa. It was launched in August 2020 with an aim to attract qualified doctors, nurses and other health professionals to come to the UK. It is also extended to include eligible persons working in the social care sector.

Benefits of Health and Care Worker visa

Compared to other skilled worker visa, the Health and Care Worker visa benefits from:

  • reduced visa fees (starting from £284)
  • faster processing time (3 weeks)
  • exempt from Immigration healthcare surcharge (IHS) (£1,035 per year), and
  • dedicated support from the UKVI to assist the applications

What occupations are eligible? 

To qualify, your job must be one of the following occupations. This is an exhaustive list; only those listed are eligible. The occupation code is confirmed on the certificate of sponsorship (CoS) issued by your prospective employer.

  • 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 that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as audiologists and occupational health advisers
  • 2221: physiotherapists
  • 2222: occupational therapists
  • 2223: speech and language therapists
  • 2229: therapy professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as osteopaths and psychotherapists
  • 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
  • *6145: care workers and home carers
  • *6146: senior care workers


Partners and children of the sponsored workers can accompany or join them to the UK, except for those under occupation code 6145 (care workers) and 6146 (senior care workers). However, from 11 March 2024, dependants of these care workers will no longer be eligible for a dependant visa. Dependants who are already holding dependant visas will not be affected and can continue to stay and extend their visas.

Who can be the employer (sponsor)?

The organisation must hold a sponsor licence under the Skilled Worker route to employ migrant health and care workers. 

The sponsor must be:

  • the NHS
  • an organisation providing medical services to the NHS, 
  • an organisation providing adult social care, this is likely to include most care homes, or
  • an organisation meeting the registration requirements under Immigration Rules

To sponsor any new care workers under occupation code 6145 (care workers) and 6146 (senior care workers), from 11 March 2024, a sponsor in England must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is currently carrying on a regulated activity.

Other Eligibility Requirements

You must 

  • to be paid a minimum salary or the applicable going rate for your occupation, whichever is higher
  • meet the English language requirement at CEFR Level B1 (intermediate)
  • have sufficient financial means to support yourself and accompanying family without relying on public funds
  • present a criminal record certificate, except for occupations 2112 and 2113

Costs and Processing Time

The application fees for a Health and Care visa are £284 (for visa under three years) or £551 (for visa over three year). It applies to each applicant: main applicant and any dependants. The immigration healthcare surcharge is exempt.

Applications will be considered under fast track. A decision is expected to be made within 3 weeks.

Visa Duration and Beyond

The visa will be granted in line with the duration of the offered employment, with a maximum validity of 5 years. The visa can be extended provided the holders continue to meet the eligibility criteria.

The worker and their family may apply for settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain) after residing in the UK for five years and meeting other eligibility requirements.

Expert Assistance for Health and Care Visa

Davenport Solicitors possess extensive experience in sponsor licence applications and various types of work visas applications. We will provide you with comprehensive advice tailed to your individual circumstances and needs. 

Connect with us today.

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