Immigration Specialists London

UK Health Care Visa Requirements in 2024: Complete Guidance. The UK Health Care Visa Requirements 2024 outline the pathway for skilled workers in the health sector seeking to contribute to the UK’s healthcare system. Transitioning from the Tier 2 General work permit to the Skilled Worker Visa in 2020, the Health and Care Visa now offers a streamlined route to permanent residency (ILR) for healthcare professionals. This guide provides an in-depth look at the eligibility, extensions, employment changes, and the process for securing permanent residency under the UK Health and Care Visa.


UK Health Care Visa Requirements

1. Health and Care Visa UK Requirements 2024


In 2020, the UK Government introduced the Health and Care Visa, a specialized pathway under the Skilled Worker route. This initiative was designed to attract qualified healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and other roles within the health sector, and later expanded to include those in the social care sector. Below is an enhanced overview of the Health and Care Visa UK requirements for 2024.

Health Care Visa UK: Purpose and Benefits

  • Launch Date:
    • The Health and Care Visa was officially launched on August 4, 2020.
  • Target Professionals:
    • It is aimed at attracting qualified doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who are trained to recognized standards and have proficient English language skills.
  • Expansion to Social Care:
    • The scope of this visa has been expanded to incorporate eligible professionals working in the social care sector.

Key Advantages

  • Expedited Entry:
    • Fast-tracked processing to facilitate quicker entry into the UK.
  • Reduced Fees:
    • Applicants benefit from lower visa fees compared to other routes.
  • Family Support:
    • Specialized support is available for applicants bringing their families to the UK.
  • IHS Exemption:
    • Applicants and their dependent family members are exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

Integration with the Skilled Worker Route

  • As the Health and Care Visa falls under the Skilled Worker route, applicants must meet all the criteria set for the Skilled Worker visa.

Specific Criteria to Meet:

  • Validity Requirements:
  • Suitability Requirements:
    • These ensure applicants have no relevant criminal convictions and are compliant with UK immigration laws.
  • Eligibility Requirements:
    • These pertain to the job offer, salary threshold, and skill level of the role.

Application Process

  • Applicants must navigate the application process by aligning with the requirements outlined in the Appendix Skilled Worker.
  • This includes securing a valid job offer from a licensed sponsor, proving English language proficiency, and meeting the salary threshold specific to their role.

Validity Requirements for the UK Health and Care Visa

The validity requirements, as stated in the paragraphs SW 1.1. to SW 1.6 of the Appendix Skilled Worker, provide the minimum criteria that an applicant must meet for further considerations. For example, the applicant must use the correct form and submit their identity documents. Applications failing to meet these validity requirements are deemed invalid.

  1. Application Fees
    • Applicants benefit from reduced fees and are exempt from the Immigration Health Charge, including NHS staff and healthcare workers. Fees are required for biometrics registration and visa issuance based on its validity period.
  2. Biometrics and Documents
    • Submission of biometric information is mandatory, which is verified against valid identity documents.
  3. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)
    • A valid CoS from an employer is essential. The CoS should be authentic and relevant to the job role.
  4. CoS Reference Number
    • This number must be included in the application and should be issued within 3 months prior to applying.
  5. Minimum Age
    • Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  6. Scholarship Consent
    • Individuals with a government or international scholarship must provide written consent.
  7. Switching Restrictions
    • Some visa holders or individuals outside Immigration Rules are restricted from switching to this visa route.

Suitability Requirements for the UK Health and Care Visa

The suitability requirements, given in paragraphs SW 2.1. to SW 2.2 of the Appendix Skilled Worker, pertain to the applicant’s overall suitability for obtaining any permission, not specifically qualifying for the UK Health and Care Visa. Applicants must not be subject to refusal on general grounds or violate immigration laws. Applications failing to meet these requirements are denied.

  • Compliance with Immigration Laws
    • Applicants should not have any history of violating immigration laws.
    • Exceptions may apply, such as certain cases of overstaying under Paragraph 39E, which can be disregarded under specific circumstances.
  • Immigration Bail
    • Applicants must not be under immigration bail. Being under immigration bail indicates unresolved issues with immigration status, which can impact the eligibility for a Skilled Worker Visa.

Importance of Law-Abiding Status

It’s critical for applicants to demonstrate compliance with immigration laws. This compliance reflects their lawful status and good standing, which are essential factors in the decision-making process for UK visas. Violations of immigration laws can lead to refusal of visa applications, so it is in the applicant’s best interest to maintain a clean record and address any potential issues before applying.

Eligibility Requirements for the UK Health and Care Visa

The eligibility requirements, as per the paragraphs SW 3.1 to SW 16.2 of the Appendix Skilled Worker, list the specific criteria to qualify. Applications failing to meet these requirements are also denied.

Applicants are required to accumulate 70 points, comprising 50 mandatory points and 20 tradeable points. The mandatory points are awarded for sponsorship, a job offer at the correct skill level, and English language proficiency. Tradeable points are based on salary and additional qualifications.

  1. Entry Clearance
    • Required as a Health and Care Worker before entering the UK.
  2. Tuberculosis Testing
    • Mandatory if residing in a listed country for over 6 months before applying.
  3. Mandatory Points (50)
    • 20 points for sponsorship, 20 for a job at the appropriate skill level, 10 for English language (B1 level of CEFR).
  4. Tradeable Points (20)
    • Based on salary and other qualifications.
  5. Financial Proof
    • Proof of £1,270 held for 28 days, unless the applicant has been in the UK for 12 months or the sponsor provides maintenance certification.
  6. Criminal Record Certificate
    • Required for applicants who’ve stayed in certain countries for 12 months or more in the past 10 years after turning 18.
  7. Sponsorship Requirements
    • Applicants must have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a licensed sponsor.
    • The job should meet the immigration skills charge, represent a genuine vacancy, be at the appropriate skill level, and involve no third-party work.
Health and Care Visa Requirements
Step Into A Rewarding Career In Uk Healthcare With The Health And Care Visa!

2. Skilled Worker Visa vs Health and Care Visa


While the Health and Care Visa is part of the Skilled Worker route, there are distinct characteristics between the Skilled Worker and the UK Health and Care Visa:

  1. Eligibility Criteria:
    • The UK Health and Care Visa is exclusively available to individuals specified in Paragraph 2 of the Health and Care Visa Guidance by UKVI.
  2. Applicable Occupations:
    • This visa applies only to Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes listed in Paragraph 3 of the Health and Care Visa Guidance by UKVI.
  3. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS):
    • Employers must provide a concise explanation in the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) demonstrating how the employee meets the eligibility requirements specified in Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Health and Care Visa Guidance by UKVI.
  4. Application Process:
    • Applicants for the UK Health and Care Visa use the standard Skilled Worker application form.
    • If their employer confirms the employee’s eligibility, the applicant will indicate they are applying for the Health and Care Visa by ticking the appropriate box.
  5. Reduced Application Fees:
    • Those applying for the Health and Care Visa, including partners and dependents, pay a reduced application fee.
  6. Immigration Health Surcharge Exemption:
  7. Expedited Processing:
    • UKVI expedites processing of the UK Health and Care Visa applications, aiming for a three-week turnaround post-biometrics.
  8. Dedicated NHS Support:
    • There is a dedicated NHS support and visa processing team for Health and Care Visa sponsors to address any issues related to the application process or eligibility. Health and Care Visa sponsors can contact UKVI’s dedicated NHS team at: UKVINHSteam@homeoffice.gov.uk.

3. Health and Care Visa English Requirements


To apply for the Health and Care Visa in the UK, one of the key eligibility requirements relates to English language proficiency. An applicant needs to achieve a score equivalent to level B1 of the Common European Framework of References (CEFR) for English language in all four components: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This is worth 10 points in the visa application process.

Meeting the English Language Requirement

The requirements for demonstrating this proficiency can be met in a few ways:

Majority English Speaking Country:

  • If the applicant is a national of a majority English-speaking country, they are not required to provide additional proof of English language skills. These countries include:
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Australia
    • The Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Canada
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Jamaica
    • New Zealand
    • St Kitts and Nevis
    • St Lucia
    • St Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • USA

Degree Taught in English:

  • If the applicant has a degree that was taught in English and is certified by UK NARIC as equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree, this also satisfies the requirement.

English Language Test:

  • If the applicant has passed an English language test at the CEFR Level B1, this can also meet the requirement.

Previous Grants or Transitional Arrangements:

  • If the applicant has met the requirement in a previous grant of leave or through transitional arrangements, they are deemed to satisfy this requirement.

For further details, please refer to Appendix English Language.

Health and Care Visa UK IELTS Requirement 2024

In terms of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), the required band score for a Health and Care Visa UK is between 4.0 and 5.0, equivalent to CEFR Level B1.

According to the official CEFR guidelines, someone at the B1 level in English should be able to:

  • Grasp key aspects of straightforward, standard communication on common topics typically found in work, school, leisure activities, and similar settings.
  • Deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling.
  • Produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest.
  • Describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions, and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

4. Scoring Tradable Points for Health and Care Worker Salary


Basic Salary Requirements

To qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa, applicants must score 20 tradable points related to salary in addition to the mandatory 50 points for skills, qualifications, and English proficiency.

  • Minimum Salary Threshold:
    • Typically, the minimum salary is £20,480. However, if the job’s ‘going rate’ is higher, the applicant must be paid at least that amount. Each occupation code has its own annual going rate.

Higher Salary Requirements for Specific Occupation Codes

For the following occupation codes, the minimum salary requirement is either £25,600 annually or £10.10 per hour, or the going rate for the specific job, whichever is higher:

  • 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
  • 3111:
    • Laboratory technicians
  • 3216:
    • Dispensing opticians
  • 3217:
    • Pharmaceutical technicians
  • 6146:
    • Senior care workers

Exceptions to Minimum Salary Threshold

In certain scenarios, applicants can qualify even with lower salaries:

  • Shortage Occupations:
    • Paid 80% of the usual going rate. Must check if the job is on the shortage occupation list and regional shortages.
  • New Entrants:
    • Paid 70% of the usual going rate if under 26, studying, a recent graduate, or in professional training. Total UK stay capped at 4 years.
  • PhD Level Qualification:
    • STEM PhDs: Paid 80% (min £20,480/year).
    • Non-STEM PhDs: Paid 90% (min £23,040/year). Must be relevant to the job.
  • Postdoctoral Position in a Scientific Role:
    • Paid 70% of the usual going rate, with a total UK stay cap of 4 years including time on a Tier 2 (General) work visa.

Consideration of Salary for Tradable Points

For the Health and Care Visa:

  • Verify Mandatory Points:
    • Ensure points for sponsorship and skilled job are met.
  • Check Occupation Code Eligibility:
    • Determines the options for tradable points.
  • Assess Salary and Other Qualifications:
    • Consider if the occupation code offers additional tradable points options.

5. Documents Required for UK Care Worker Visa


To meet the UK Health and Care visa requirements, an applicant needs to furnish the following supporting documents with the application:

  1. Application Form:
    • Print out of the UK Health and Care Visa Online Application Form.
  2. Passport:
    • A current passport (or other valid travel identification) showing the applicant’s identity and nationality with a blank page on both sides for affixation of the visa vignette.
  3. Certified Translation:
    • Certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.
  4. Certificate of Sponsorship:
    • Certificate of sponsorship reference number provided by the UK employer (sponsor) with an explanation of how the applicant meets the Health and Care Visa eligibility requirements.
  5. Job Details:
    • Job title and annual salary.
  6. Occupation Code:
  7. Employer Information:
    • Name of the employer and their sponsor licence number (this will be on the certificate of sponsorship).
  8. English Proficiency:
    • Proof of meeting the English requirement, such as a UKVI IELTS Test result or an academic degree with an ECCTIS (previously UKNARIC) certificate.

An applicant may ask their employer for a copy of the certificate of sponsorship if they do not have one.

Additional Documents Required for UK Health and Care Visa

Depending on the circumstances, a Health and Care Visa applicant may need to provide:

  • Personal Savings:
    • Evidence of requisite personal savings to meet the maintenance funds requirements, such as bank statements (unless the certificate of sponsorship shows that the employer can support).
  • Family Proof:
    • Proof of relationship with spouse/partner or children if dependent family members are applying with the main applicant.
  • Tuberculosis Test:
    • Tuberculosis test results, if applicable.
  • Criminal Record:
  • ATAS Certificate:
    • A valid ATAS certificate if the job involves researching a sensitive subject at PhD level or higher.
  • PhD Certificate:
    • UK PhD certificate, or a unique ECCTIS reference number (formerly unique UK NARIC reference number) if the applicant’s qualification is from outside the UK.

6. FAQs on Health Care Visa Requirements UK 2024


  1. What form do I use to apply for a Health and Care Visa?

    You need to use the normal Skilled Worker application form. If your employer has confirmed your eligibility, check the box to confirm that you’re applying for the Health and Care Visa.

  2. Can I check the Health and Care Visa box even if my employer hasn’t confirmed my eligibility?

    No, don’t check the box if your employer hasn’t confirmed your eligibility. If you do, your application may be rejected because the correct fee has not been paid. Always check with your sponsor before completing the form.

  3. What about my dependents?

    Dependent family members need confirmation from the sponsor that the person upon whom their application is reliant is eligible for the Health and Care visa. This should be in the form of a letter or email from the sponsor.

  4. How can I get support during my application process?

    You can contact the UKVI’s dedicated NHS team at UKVINHSteam@homeoffice.gov.uk if you have any issues with the application process.

  5. How long does the application process take?

    UKVI prioritizes Health and Care Visa applications. Most applications are processed within three weeks after biometrics.

  6. Can I work a second job while on a Health and Care Visa?

    Yes, you can do a second job in certain circumstances but you may need to apply to update your visa.

  7. How long do I need to stay in the UK to apply for settlement (ILR)?

    You can apply for settlement (also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) if you have lived in the UK for 5 years and meet other eligibility requirements.

  8. Can I bring my family members to the UK?

    Yes, you can bring family members to the UK.

  9. Can I apply for most benefits or the State Pension on a Skilled Worker route?

    No, you cannot apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension.

  10. What is the success rate of the Health and Care Worker Visa in the UK?

    According to the latest immigration statistics, from 2020 Q4 to 2021 Q2, the UK Health and Care entry clearance visa success and refusal rate are 99.45% and 0.45%, respectively.

  11. What are the conditions of stay in the UK for a migrant on Health and Care Visa?

    A migrant holding a Health and Care Visa in the UK has several rights and options in the UK. They are allowed to work for their sponsor in the job detailed in the Certificate of Sponsorship. Additionally, they can also apply for a second job under certain conditions. They are permitted to engage in voluntary work and to pursue studies, provided these do not interfere with their sponsored job. These individuals are free to travel abroad and return to the UK. Furthermore, they have the ability to bring their family members to live with them in the UK. After residing in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years and meeting other specified eligibility requirements, they can apply for permanent settlement, also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’, in the UK.

  12. Can a migrant on a Health and Care Visa apply for public funds or the State Pension?

    No, a migrant on a Health and Care Visa cannot apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension.

  13. How much is UK Health and Care visa fee in 2024?

    Upon visa approval, migrants are required to pay £19.20 for biometrics registration in the UK. A fee of £232 per person is levied for visas valid up to 3 years, whereas for visas lasting over 3 years, the fee is £464 per person.

  14. What is the minimum salary requirement for the Health and Care Visa?

    Typically, a Health and Care worker must be paid at least £20,480. If the ‘going rate’ for the job is higher, the applicant should be paid at least that amount.

  15. How is the ‘going rate’ determined for a specific job?

    The ‘going rate’ refers to the standard salary for the specific job or occupation code. It varies depending on the exact role and responsibilities.

  16. Can the salary be less than £20,480 if the job’s going rate is lower?

    No, the minimum salary requirement is £20,480, even if the going rate for the job is lower. The applicant must be paid the higher of either £20,480 or the specific going rate for the job.

  17. Where can I find the going rate for my specific job or occupation code?

    The going rate for each job or occupation code is usually listed in the official guidance or relevant governmental resources. You may need to consult with an immigration specialist or refer to official government documents to find the exact figure for your specific job.

  18. How long does it take to process a UK Health and Care Visa application?

    UKVI expedites the processing of the UK Health and Care Visa applications with the aim of a three-week turnaround time post-biometrics. This is a targeted timeframe and might vary depending on individual circumstances.

  19. Is there any support available for Health and Care Visa sponsors if they face issues with the application process or eligibility?

    Yes, there is a dedicated NHS support and visa processing team specifically for Health and Care Visa sponsors. If you have any issues related to the application process or eligibility, you can reach out to UKVI’s dedicated NHS team at: UKVINHSteam@homeoffice.gov.uk.