UK Health and Care Worker Visa

The UK Health and Care Worker visa gives Bangladeshi nationals with a job offer from a qualified health institution the right to live and work in the UK.

If you need in-depth advice on how to sponsor someone for the Health and Care Worker visa or need help applying for yourself, get in touch with our helpful and friendly Total Law experts today by using our online callback request form or calling us at +44 (0)333 305 9375.

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    What is the Health and Care Worker Visa?

    The Health and Care Worker visa allows medical professionals to move to the UK and work in an eligible healthcare role for up to five years (with extension). To qualify, you must have a job offer from the NHS, a certified NHS supplier, or an adult social care organisation.

    As part of the 5-point immigration plan, care providers can only sponsor Bangladeshi and other international healthcare professionals if they are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

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    Health and Care Worker Visa Requirements UK for Employers and Employees

    To either sponsor an employee from Bangladesh or apply for the visa yourself, you will need to meet a few critical requirements for the Health and Care Worker Visa UK.

    For employers, you must:

    • Have an eligible business
    • Be registered with the CQC
    • Have an open position that is suitable for sponsorship
    • Apply for a Worker’s licence online
    • Pay the fee (£536 for small businesses and charities or £1,476 for medium and large organisations).

    For employees, you must:

    • Be a healthcare professional
    • Have a qualified job offer from a licensed healthcare provider (usually the NHS)
    • Have a salary offer that meets or exceeds the minimum income requirements for that role
    • Have personal savings that meet or exceed the minimum requirements
    • Be proficient in English to a B1 level or higher

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      For Workers - Understanding the Eligibility Requirements for the Health and Care Worker Visa

      As a health professional, the key areas you need to focus on are ensuring that the roles you apply for are covered under the Health and Care visa, that you are proficient enough in English, and that you have the savings to help support yourself until your job begins after you move to the UK.

      Qualified Job Roles

      The Health and Care Worker visa covers many roles, allowing employers to fill in gaps in their workforce with talented medical professionals from Bangladesh and beyond. All eligible roles come with a SOC code:

      SOC Code Job Description
      1181 Health service managers and directors
      1242 Residential, domiciliary and day care managers or proprietors
      2112 Biochemists/biological scientists
      2113 Physical scientists
      2211 Medical practitioners
      2212 Psychologists
      2213 Pharmacists
      2214 Ophthalmic opticians
      2215 Dental practitioners
      2217 Medical radiographers
      2218 Podiatrists
      2219 “Not elsewhere classified” health professionals (for example, audiologists or occupational health advisors)
      2221 Physiotherapists
      2222 Occupational therapists
      2223 Speech and language therapists
      2229 “Not elsewhere classified” therapy professionals (for example, physiotherapists or osteopaths)
      2231 Nurses
      2232 Midwives
      2442 Social workers
      3111 Laboratory technicians
      3213 Parametics
      3216 Dispensing opticians
      3217 Pharmaceutical technicians
      3218 Dental and medical technicians
      3219 “Not elsewhere classified” health associate professionals
      6141 Nursing assistants
      6143 Dental nurses
      6145 Care workers/home carers
      6146 Senior care workers

      Salary Requirements

      A sponsored employee’s salary must meet a minimum of either £38,700 or match the “going rate” for the SOC code (in the case where the going rate is higher). For example, managers will have a higher minimum salary requirement than care workers.

      When the Salary Requirement is Reduced

      There are instances where an employee can be paid less and still apply for the visa.

      Salary Reduction Instances You’d Have Lowered Salary Requirements
      20% The role is on the shortage occupation list
      30% The employee is under 26 and still studying, in professional training or a recent graduate
      10 – 20% They have a Ph.D. in a STEM fielelevant to the job
      30% The role is in a postdoctoral, scientific position

      In these situations, the salary may be between 10 to 30% less than the going rate.

      Shortage Occupation Changes Under the 5-Point Immigration Plan 

      There are plans to end the 20% salary requirement reduction for shortage occupations under the 5-point immigration plan. The shortage occupations list (SOL) is also set to be reformed.

      By having our expert and friendly immigration lawyers on your side, you will always be kept up-to-date with any changes to the immigration process, regardless of whether you are an employer hoping to sponsor a Bangladeshi employee or are applying for the visa yourself.

      Proficiency in English

      The visa applicant must prove proficient in English, meaning they can speak, read, write, and understand English to at least a B1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. There are several ways those from Bangladesh can prove their proficiency in English:

      • Pass a B1 level Secure English Language Test (SELT) or higher
      • Have a degree-level academic qualification from an English-speaking institution or program (confirmed through Ecctis).

      Proof of Funds

      As the applicant, you must prove that you have at least £1,270 (or equivalent) in your bank account for 28 consecutive days to apply for this visa. You will also need the same amount in your account to apply for an extension.

      In some cases, your employer may support you instead. The employer must complete the “sponsor certifies maintenance” section on the certificate, which you will find under “additional data.”

      For Employers - Getting Approved to Sponsor International Workers

      To sponsor a healthcare professional from Bangladesh, you must be licensed with the UK Home Office and registered with the CQC. To apply for the sponsor license, you’ll need to apply online for a sponsor license and pay the fee.

      It takes around 8 weeks to process this application. If you are successful, you will be given an A-rated license rating. This license will be valid for four years, after which you’ll need to reapply.

      As a sponsor, you’ll need to:

      • Check the background of foreign workers thoroughly to make sure they are qualified for the role
      • Only provide certificates of sponsorship for roles that meet the criteria for the Health and Care Worker Visa
      • Inform the UKVI if the sponsored worker is not complying with their visa conditions
      • Comply with UK employment law
      • Keep copies of all relevant documents and evidence of attendance, contact details, and right to work checks.

      If you do not comply, your license rating will be downgraded, and your ability to sponsor foreign workers will be compromised.

      What Documents Do You Need to Apply for the Health and Care Worker Visa?

      You will need to provide these documents when you apply for your Health and Care Worker visa online:

      • Your certificate of sponsorship number
      • Proof of English proficiency
      • Valid passport
      • Job details (occupation code, title and salary)
      • Employer details (name, sponsor license number)
      • Proof of personal savings (bank statements or employer sponsorship)
      • Proof of relationship if you’re bringing dependents
      • A tuberculosis test result
      • Criminal record certificate from each country you’ve lived in (needed for all patient-facing roles)
      • Proof of education (a unique Ecctis reference number, if your qualification is from outside the UK)
      • A blank page in your passport (must be blank on both sides of the sheet)

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        Health and Care Worker Visa Application Process

        You can start the application up to 3 months before your job start date. You will find the start date on your certificate of sponsorship. Aim to apply as early as possible, as you will need to make an appointment at a visa application centre.

        The Typical Application Processing Time

        You will typically hear back from the UK Home Office within 3 weeks after submitting your application. There may be delays if there are issues validating your documents or identity. You can pay extra for priority services if you need a faster decision.

        • Priority Service: Response within 5 working days, costs £500 to
        • Super-Priority Service: Response in 1 to 2 working days, costs £1000

        Application Fees and Costs 

        On top of having the £1,270 in your account to prove you can support yourself, you will also need to pay an application fee. How much you pay depends on the length of your job contract.

        • Jobs up to 3 years: £284
        • Jobs over 3 years: £551

        The biometric fee is £19.20, and is paid alongside the application fee. You should not need to pay anything at the application centre itself.

        How to Apply From Outside the UK - Step By Step

        Overview

        Once you have all the documents necessary for your application, you’ll be ready to start the application. Once you start, you can save at any time and come back to it later.

        1. Start the online application form
        2. Check “Yes” when the application asks if you’re applying for a Health and Care Worker visa as part of your application.
        3. Upload the relevant documents and information
        4. PayYou’lltment to have your fingerprints and photo taken.
        5. Attend your appointment
        6. Wait for the decision

        How to Prove Your Identity 

        To prove your identity, you need to arrange a biometric appointment at a visa application centre. Aim to arrive around 15 minutes before your appointment time. In Bangladesh, there are two you can choose from:

        Location Address Passport Pickup Location Days Open Opening Times
        Dhaka VFS Bangladesh Pvt Ltd.

        4th Floor, Delta Life Tower, Plot 37, Road 90, North Avenue, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh

        Sanmar Tower-2, Plot # 38/A, Road # 35, 12th floor, Gulshan-2, Bangladesh Sunday to Thursday 8:30 to 16:00
        Sylhet VFS Bangladesh Pvt Ltd.

        7th Floor, Nirvana Inn, Mirza Jungle Road, Ramerdhigir par, Sylhet-3100, Bangladesh

        VFS Bangladesh Pvt Ltd.

        7th Floor, Nirvana Inn, Mirza Jungle Road, Ramerdhigir par, Sylhet-3100, Bangladesh

        Sunday to Thursday 8:30 to 16:00

        What to Bring to Your Biometric Appointment 

        You will need to bring these documents to the visa application centre:

        • Appointment confirmation letter
        • Your passport
        • A printout of the visa application checklist (proof you’ve uploaded all supporting documents)

        What Happens at the Biometric Appointment 

        During this appointment, you will have your photo taken and all 10 of your fingerprints scanned. This information is essential for your biometric residence permit (BRP), which you will pick up after you arrive in the UK.

        If your application is successful, your passport will be returned to you with an entry visa inside. This visa will allow you into the UK, after which you must pick up your BRP.

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          What Health and Care Workers Can And Cannot Do

          Overview

          It is important that you are fully aware of what you can and cannot do when you are on the UK’s Health and Care Worker visa, especially in light of the changes coming to the visa as part of the UK’s 5-point immigration plan.

          What You Can Do With the Health and Care Worker Visa 

          This visa gives you the right to work in an eligible job, work overtime at that job, and work “bank shifts” for your NHS employer.

          You can also work up to 20 hours each in another role (in certain instances), volunteer, or study. You can also volunteer or study. While you have the visa, you will have the right to leave and reenter the UK and, after five years, can apply to settle permanently in the UK.

          In some cases, you can bring your dependents, but you will need to work in a valid occupation code to do this. Dependents are children or spouses who live and depend on you. They must apply separately, though you can link your application together.

          When You Need to Update Your Visa

          If your additional role takes up more than 20 hours per week, you must update your visa. The same applies if the job is in a different occupation code or the same code but at a different level.

          To update your visa, you’ll need to get another certificate of sponsorship from your other employer and a letter outlining why you want to change your current visa.

          What You Cannot Do on the Health and Care Worker Visa

          Unfortunately, care workers under SOC 6145 and SOC 6146 will no longer be able to bring dependents with them (even children) from 11 March 2024 onwards.

          This change means care workers in those roles would first need to achieve indefinite leave to remain. Then, their families must apply for the partnership or family visas.

          You will also be unable to apply for benefits, such as state pension. If you change jobs or employers, you’ll need to update your visa.

          Bringing Dependents on the Health and Care Worker Visa

          Overview

          If you are not a care or senior care worker (SOC 6145 or SOC 6146) and are on the Health and Care Worker visa, you will still be able to bring your dependents. Valid dependents include:

          • Spouse/Partner: You must be married, in a civil partnership, or can prove you have been in a committed, dependent relationship for at least 2 years.
          • Child: Your child must live with you (not their other parent, for example if you are separated) and be under 18.

          Keep in mind that if you and your partner are unable to live together for valid reasons (cultural restrictions, for example), then your partner may still be able to apply for a visa. You will need to prove your relationship and that your partner is dependent on you.

          Dependent’s Fees

          To bring your dependents, you will need to have additional money in savings to support them:

          • £285 for your partner
          • £315 for one child
          • £200 for each additional child

          Every one of your family members will also need to pay an application fee. This fee depends on how long your visa is valid.

          • Up to 3 years – £284 per person
          • More than 3 years – £551 per person

          While your dependents can extend their visas if yours is extended, their visas will not automatically renew. You will need to renew them at the same time in order for them to continue living with you.

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            Extending Your Stay in the UK

            The Health and Care Worker Visa can be extended as many times as needed, so long as you continue to meet all of the eligibility requirements.

            For employers, this means you will need to issue a new Certificate of Sponsorship to your employee. The application fee for the extension is £247 per person for a 3-year extension or £479 per person if your contract is more than three years.

            How Can Total Law Help with Your Visa Application Process?

            The Health and Care Worker Visa has replaced the previous Tier 2 Health and Care visa, and it offers many benefits for healthcare professionals over the Skilled Worker visa. While the visa application process is far easier to acquire than the Skilled Worker visa, changes to immigration policy change frequently, especially with the UK’s five-point immigration plan still largely up in the air. That’s why having friendly, expert immigration lawyers on your side is so important.

            Contact our team using our online callback form or by calling us at +44 (0)333 305 9375. We will walk you through everything you need for your Health and Care Worker visa and stay up-to-date with immigration law changes so you can be confident that your application has everything it needs from the get-go.

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                      Related pages for your continued reading.

                      Frequently Asked Questions

                      Yes, the IELTS General Training, IELTS Academic and IELTS Life Skills are all valid in the eyes of the UKVI. You’ll need an overall score of 4.0 with a minimum score of 4.0 in each of the four skills, which is the equivalent of the B1.

                      IELTS and UKVI IELTS are virtually similar, with the only difference being that the UK Home Office has approved the UKVI IELTS. Since you should only use English-language proficiency tests approved by the UK Home Office, you should aim to take the exam at a UKVI test centre.

                      You will need a job from an eligible employer to apply for this visa. Start by looking at the job listings for each licensed employer. You can apply for any role you are qualified for that is covered under the Health and Care Worker visa.

                      The changes that the 5-point immigration plan has brought mean that care workers and senior care workers can no longer bring dependents. Changes are also expected regarding how shortage roles and salary reductions are categorized, though these changes are still in development.

                      Those with a Health and Care Worker visa and their dependents do not have to pay the healthcare surcharge.