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Health and Care Worker Visa

Health and Care Worker

The health and care worker visa is available to qualified doctors, nurses, health professionals or adult social care professionals who have been offered a job in the health and social care sector. It permits you to enter or stay in the UK  for up to 5 years, after which you may be eligible to settle.

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What you can do

  • Live and work in the UK for the duration your employer sponsors you

  • Bring your dependants *

  • Study

  • Switch to a different visa.

  • Leave the UK and return without issue.

  • Apply for indefinite leave to remain after 5 continuous years on this route.

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What you can't do

  • Change employment without applying to update your visa

  • Undertake supplementary employment unless in certain circumstances

  • Receive public funds

 * If your job occupation code is either 6145 or 6146, you may be not be able to bring your dependants to the UK. Read our blog on the latest changes to health and care worker dependants to understand if you will be affected.



Valid Passport

Certificate of Sponsorship

You must have a valid passport to apply.

Your employer must hold a sponsor licence and issue you with a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) confirming key information including your name, job title, occupation code, annual salary and length of sponsorship. Your  employment must be in an eligible health or social care position.

Minimum Salary

The current minimum salary of £26,200 will increase to £29,000 from Spring 2024 before a further rise to £34,500 and eventually settling at £38,700. If the 'going rate' for your job is higher than the minimum salary, your employer should pay you the 'going rate'. There are exceptions to this depending on your age, qualifications, and if your job falls within the 'shortage occupation' category.

English Language



You must prove your English language ability to at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

You must show sufficient funds to support yourself. The current requirements require you to have at least £1,270 in your account for at least 28 consecutive days before the date of application.

You may require a tuberculosis test depending on which country you are applying from. You could also be required to provide a criminal record certificate. 

The application fee for a health and care worker visa depends on the length of your employment as stated in your Certificate of Sponsorship:

Up to 3 years: £284

Over 3 years:  £551

The application fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK.

You will not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge of £1,035 per year.

Term & Fees

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ukvi processing time

The processing time for health and care worker applications is approximately 3 weeks. 

You may be able to pay for a faster decision by purchasing an enhanced service.


Next Steps

If your application for a health and care worker visa is successful, you will receive a new biometric residence permit confirming the length and conditions of your permission to remain in the United Kingdom.


If your application for a health and care worker visa is refused, you will receive a refusal letter outlining the reasons. You will not normally have a right of appeal, but you may consider applying for an administrative review if you believe an incorrect decision has been made based on a casework error. An application for administrative review costs £80 and can be made online. It must be made within 28 days of the refusal (if you're outside the UK) or within 14 days (if you're inside the UK).

Next Step

Next Steps

If you want to remain in the UK beyond your health and care worker visa, you can apply to extend it with the same or different employer - you will need a new Certificate of Sponsorship to apply. Once you have completed five consecutive years on this route, you may be eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

Are you interested in making an application?

Use this form to fill in your information and one of our partners will get in touch to discuss your needs.

Thanks for your message.

We will aim to reply to you within 1 working day.

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