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It is well reported that the UK has been experiencing labor shortages in the health sector for a number of years. In 2020, the UK Government introduced a visa which would enable eligible doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, who have been trained to a recognized standard, a route into the UK irrespective of nationality. This article examines what roles are eligible for the Health and Care Worker Visa and what other requirements employers must meet to employ healthcare staff from overseas, including considerations for the health and care visa.

What jobs are eligible for the Health and Care Worker Visa?

The Health and Care Worker Visa is not available to all health-based roles, instead, the worker must have been offered a position which falls within the list of approved occupations. The list of approved occupations is organised by occupation codes, similar to other immigration routes. As the list is exhaustive, to be eligible for the visa the worker must be one of the following:

  • Health services and public health managers and directors
  • Residential, day and domiciliary care managers and proprietors
  • Biological scientists and biochemists
  • Physical scientists
  • Medical practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Ophthalmic opticians
  • Dental practitioners
  • Medical radiographers
  • Podiatrists
  • Health professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as audiologists and occupational health advisers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Therapy professionals that are ‘not elsewhere classified’, such as osteopaths and psychotherapists
  • Nurses
  • Midwives
  • Social workers
  • Laboratory technicians
  • Paramedics
  • Dispensing opticians
  • Pharmaceutical technicians
  • Medical and dental technicians
  • Health associate professionals not elsewhere classified
  • Nursing auxiliaries and assistants
  • Dental nurses
  • Senior care workers

Other requirements

The eligibility of the job role is not the only requirement. The worker must have received a job offer to work for a UK employer who has been approved by the Home Office. This employer will also need a Sponsor Licence.

The employer offering the job must issue the worker with a Certificate of Sponsorship, which will provide information on the role and why the worker meets the eligibility criteria of the Health and Care Visa.

Further, the job offer must meet the salary requirement. The requirement differs depending on the type of role that the worker will be employed in. This is not a strict formula, and there are factors which can reduce the salary requirement, so it is important to take individual advice on this issue.

Other general requirements that the worker will have to demonstrate are that they meet the requisite level of English language, they provide a criminal record certificate and, potentially, need to provide a TB certificate.

Like with most visas, the application can be completed online and there will be associated fees and documentary requirements. Employers intending to sponsor a worker under any visa route should note that the applications are a fact specific assessment and therefore it is advisable to take legal advice prior to making an application to prevent unnecessary delays or rejection.

Speak to an immigration law solicitor

If you require advice on any of the issues raised in this article or have another matter relating to immigration law that is affecting your business, please don't hesitate to complete our enquiry form below to get in touch with our team.

Key Contact

Adam Haines

Adam Haines

Employment Law and Business Immigration Partner

Adam is a partner and specialist employment lawyer with experience advising on all aspects of employment law from the beginning to the end of the employment relationship and business immigration.

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