The Home Office are to introduce a new Health and Care Visa which will come into effect from 4 August 2020 throughout the UK.

The new visa will allow organisations to attract top healthcare professionals from around the world. There will be cost advantages for businesses and individuals alike regarding Home Office fees with a faster turnaround time than a standard visa application.

What are the requirements?

The application process will still entail the obtaining of a Tier 2 (General) visa which requires any health care provider or NHS Trust to obtain a sponsor licence with the Home Office. For the applicants the following criteria needs to be achieved:

  • Meeting the salary threshold.
  • Meeting the English language requirements.
  • Meeting the suitability requirements i.e. no previous UK visa refusals or criminal convictions.
  • Providing a criminal record certificate from any country where they have resided for 12 months or more within the last 10 years where the job will involve working with vulnerable people.
  • Agree to a tuberculosis test where the individual is entering from a listed country.
  • Employers will be required in the certificate of sponsorship to provide a brief explanation as to how the applicant will meet the requirements.
  • Where the applicants are being employed as part of a contract to supply services commissioned by the NHS, employers should be prepared to share details of the contractual arrangements.

Health and Care Visa applicants will need to evidence that they are entering the UK to undertake a role in one of the occupations specified within the Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC). The full list of eligible professions is:

  • 2112 – Biological Scientists and Biochemists
  • 2113 – Physical Scientists
  • 2211 – Medical Practitioners
  • 2212 – Psychologists
  • 2213 – Pharmacists
  • 2214 – Ophthalmic Opticians
  • 2215 – Dental practitioners
  • 2217 – Medical Radiographers
  • 2218 – Podiatrists
  • 2219 – Health Professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2221 – Physiotherapists
  • 2222 – Occupational Therapists
  • 2223 – Speech and Language Therapists
  • 2229 – Therapy professionals not elsewhere classified
  • 2231 – Nurses
  • 2232 – Midwives
  • 2442 – Social Workers
  • 3213 – Paramedics

To be eligible for a Health and Care Visa, the worker must be offered one of the above jobs, either for an NHS trust / health board or for one of several other medical and social care organisations listed in the guidance, and meet all the usual Tier 2 (General) criteria.

Benefits in applying for the new health and care visa?

Reduction in Fees

Individuals and dependants will benefit from a reduced application fee. The Home Office have announced that under the new visa scheme applicants will be exempt from paying the immigration health surcharge.

Turnaround Time

Individuals applying under the health and care visa will receive a decision quicker than a standard visa application with the Government outlining likely processing times of around 3 weeks.

Specialist Home Office team

A specialist Home Office team has been established to consider applications made under the new health and care visa scheme to prevent teething issues.

This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Please contact our Immigration team at Cleaver Fulton Rankin for further advice or information.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.