UK Health and Care Visa to officially launch this summer

Government launches Health and Care Visa to ensure UK health and care services have access to the best global talent. The new Health and Care Visa will make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals from around the world to come to the UK.

Quick Facts:

  • Health professionals can apply from August 2020
  • Permanent exemption from Immigration Health Surcharge
  • Fast-tracked route
  • Processing time within 3 weeks
  • Reduced visa application fee

The new Health and Care Visa will come with a reduced visa application fee compared to that paid by other skilled workers, including exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge. Health and care professionals applying on this route can also expect a decision on whether they can work in the UK within just three weeks, following biometric enrolment. Those working in health and social care who do not qualify for the Health and Care Visa will still be able to claim a reimbursement from the Immigration Health Surcharge if they have paid this on or after 31 March. 

As part of the launch of the Health and Care Visa, those who apply via the visa and their dependants will be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge. The government has already began refunding Immigration Health Surcharge payments for any healthcare professionals on Tier 2 visas who have paid since 31 March 2020, and this process will continue. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

We are indebted to overseas health and care professionals for their tremendous contributions, not just in saving thousands of lives throughout this crisis, but for the vital role they play year-round.


This new visa is part of our new immigration system making it quicker, cheaper and easier for the best and brightest health and care professionals from around the globe to work in our brilliant NHS.

It is also misnamed in the sense that it is only for “qualified doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who have been trained to a recognised standard” — not for care home workers. 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.


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For more information regarding UK Health and Care Visa, contact our team at Road to Abroad. 

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