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Recruiting Care Staff From Overseas

The shortage of available care workers in the UK in recent years has lead to a sharp increase in employers recruiting care workers from overseas.

For anyone looking to move to the UK and continue their career as a care worker then the Health and Care Visa provides an ideal route.

Call our London immigration lawyers on 020 4502 8582 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online with your UK visa application. 


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    Demand for the Health and Care Visa

    With the added pressure of the Covid pandemic, the UK’s caring sector is facing significant staff shortages and many top level employers are looking to recruit overseas care workers to help maintain good quality services.

    At the start of 2022, the government introduced a number of changes to allow easier recruitment of care working staff and boost the success of international recruitment.

    By adding a number of additional Social Care worker jobs to the UK’s Shortage Occupation List means that more overseas workers now qualify for the Health and Care visa.

    Prior to the changes, only senior care workers and managers were able to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa. However, the changes now mean a whole host of skilled workers are eligible.

    Student visa

    What is the Health and Care Worker Visa?

    The Health and Care Worker visa is a specific visa aimed at those medical professionals who want to work in the UK social care sector.

    The role taken up in the UK can be within the National Health Service (NHS) or can be for a NHS supplier or a private provider within the social care sector.

    Visa holders are able to work in the UK for up to five years as long as their remain sponsored by a UK employer.

    There are a number of similarities between the Health and Care Worker Visa and the Skilled Worker Visa route.

    However, the main advantage of the Health and Care Worker Visa is that it has lower visa application fees and there is no requirement to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge – this makes it more attractive to employers and those wishing to work in the UK.

    Health and Care Visa eligibility Criteria

    In order to qualify for the care worker visa, applicants must ensure their role will meet the following criteria:

    • Be a qualified doctor, nurse or other health and care professional (unless you are applying under SOC 6145)
    • Work in an eligible Health and Social Care job
    • Work for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office
    • Have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer with a valid Sponsor Licence
    • Be paid the minimum salary for the job role offered

    In addition, health and social care applicants should also ensure they can meet the following requirements:

    • Meet the minimum salary requirement for newly appointed international Health and Social Care workers of £20,480 or the going rate- whichever is higher
    • Meet the minimum maintenance requirement of £1,270
    • Meet the minimum English language requirement of level B1 on a Secure English Language Test

    Do you need help applying for a UK skilled worker visa? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      Restrictions of the Health and Care Worker Visa

      There are some restrictions on what is and isn’t allowed while living in the UK on a Care Worker Visa.

      The following is not allowed for such visa holders under the UK Immigration Laws:

      • Apply for public funds- this includes applying for means-tested benefits and the state pension
      • Change jobs or employers without changing or updating visas

      However, the following is allowed with a Health and Care Worker visa:

      • Undertake voluntary work
      • Study
      • Bring a partner and children to the UK
      • Travel to and from the UK
      • Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain after five years of continuous lawful residence in the United Kingdom

      Cost of applying for the Care Worker Visa

      The cost of applying for a Health and Care Visa is linked to the cost of how long the applicant wants to work in the UK. If they plan to stay in the UK for up to three years then the application fee is £232. If planning to stay for more than three years then the application fee is £464.

      It is possible to apply for the visa up to 3 months before the date the applicant is intending to start work in the UK.

      Once submitted, it can take up to three weeks for the application to be processed. However, this timescale can vary especially if the applicant is required to attend an interview to provide further details about their plans to work and live in the UK.

      Applying for the Care Workers Visa

      It is possible to apply online for the visa and this is done so via the same application form as the Skilled Worker Visa. However, applicants must ensure they correctly check the appropriate visa subcategory to ensure their application is processed with the right criteria.

      The form needs to be submitted with the correct supporting documentation as well as the visa application fee.

      Applicants will need to provide the following alongside their application:

      • Certificate of Sponsorship reference number
      • Proof of your knowledge of English – this may be a Secure English Language Test (SELT) results or proof of an eligible academic qualification taught in English.
      • A valid passport or another national identity document
      • The occupation code for the offered job
      • Proposed job title and annual salary
      • Employer details and their sponsor licence number
      • A clear tuberculosis test results if applying from a country where the test is required
      • Evidence of financial support

      All documents should be in English or Welsh, if the documents are in another language then a certified translated copy must be provided.

      If you are unclear about the right paperwork to submit to the Home Office then you may wish to consult a immigration lawyer to avoid any potential delays or even possible rejection.

      What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?

      One of the main criteria for qualifying for a Health and Care Worker Visa is holding a valid Certificate of Sponsorship. This electronic document/record is issued by a government-approved employer.

      The certificate will provide an explanation of your role and how it meets the Health and Care Worker requirements. This can be issued no more than three months before the holder applies for a visa and is a mandatory part of the visa application process.

      If the certificate is being issued by an organisation that provides medical services for the NHS then will need to provide evidence of a genuine contract with the NHS. Also if the holder of the visa is planning to work within a private household then the sponsorship licence must be registered as a sole trader.

      Any employers wishing to recruit overseas care workers must apply for the correct Sponsor Licence before advertising for staff. The process for obtaining a Sponsorship Licence can vary considerably and employers should consider seeking advice from an immigration specialist to avoid any potential issues.

      How much does a Sponsor Licence cost?

      The fees associated with a Sponsor Licence depends on the size of the company and the type of licence they require.

      Small or Charitable sponsorship licence costs:

      • Temporary Worker Licence- £536
      • Worker Licence- £536

      Medium and Large organisations costs:

      • Temporary Worker Licence- £536
      • Worker Licence- £1,476
      • Temporary Worker and Worker Licence- £1,476

      Employers are also required to pay for each Certificate of Sponsorship that is issued – this can vary but the average cost is around £199 per certificate.

      How can London Immigration Lawyers help?

      Applying for a workers visa can often seem complex and stressful. The process comes with an excess of eligibility requirements that require meticulous attention for your case to work in the applicant’s favour.

      London Immigration Lawyers have an extensive portfolio of successful applications for UK worker visas.

      For further information on how we can help you with your visa application, call London Immigration Lawyer today on 020 4502 8582 for further guidance.

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      We can help you if you need help with recruiting of overseas Care workers to the UK Call us now

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