Are you a care assistant or a nurse who wants to work in the UK? If so, you may be interested in the new Care Worker visa that was launched in February 2022. This visa allows qualified medical professionals to come to or stay in the UK to work in eligible health or social care jobs with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care. In this article, we will explain what the Care Worker visa is, who can apply for it, what the benefits and requirements are, and how to apply for it.
What is the Care Worker visa?
The Care Worker visa is a type of Skilled Worker visa that is designed for medical professionals who have been offered a job in the UK in an eligible health or social care role. The Care Worker visa was introduced in August 2020 as the Health and Care Worker visa, but it was expanded in December 2021 to include care workers and selected related job titles, such as home carers, personal assistants, and senior care workers. The Care Worker visa aims to attract and retain skilled workers in the health and social care sector, which is facing a shortage of staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of free movement from the EU.
Who can apply for the Care Worker visa?
1.To qualify for the Care Worker visa, you must:
2.be a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional
3.work in an eligible health or social care job
4.work for a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office
5.have a certificate of sponsorship from your employer with information about the role you have been offered in the UK
6.be paid a minimum salary – how much depends on the type of work you do
7.be able to speak, read, write and understand English at the required level
You can check if your job is eligible for the Care Worker visa on the official website.
What are the benefits of the Care Worker visa?
The Care Worker visa offers several advantages over the regular Skilled Worker visa, such as:
1.a 50% reduction in the visa application fee
2.an exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge, which means you do not have to pay for access to the NHS
3.a faster decision on your visa application, usually within 3 weeks
4.no need to have a degree or a specific qualification, as long as you are qualified for your role
5.no limit on the number of times you can extend your visa, as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria
6.the possibility to apply for settlement (also known as indefinite leave to remain) after 5 years of living and working in the UK
What are the requirements of the Care Worker visa?
The Care Worker visa has some requirements that you must meet in order to apply and stay in the UK, such as:
1.paying the visa application fee, which is £232 for up to 3 years or £464 for more than 3 years
2.providing your biometric information (fingerprints and photo) at a visa application centre
3.providing your passport and other documents to prove your identity, qualifications, and sponsorship
4.meeting the financial requirement, which means you must have enough money to support yourself and any dependants without relying on public funds
5.meeting the criminal record requirement, which means you must provide a criminal record certificate from any country you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years
6.meeting the tuberculosis test requirement, which means you must have a negative test result from a clinic approved by the Home Office if you are coming from a country where tuberculosis is common
You can find more details about the requirements of the Care Worker visa on the official website.
How to apply for the Care Worker visa?
You must apply for the Care Worker visa online. You can apply up to 3 months before the day you are due to start work in the UK. This date is listed on your certificate of sponsorship. You must have a confirmed job offer before you apply for your visa.
The application process involves the following steps:
1.Fill in the online application form and pay the visa fee
2.Book and attend an appointment at a visa application centre to provide your biometric information and documents
3.Wait for a decision on your visa application, which should take no longer than 3 weeks
4.Collect your biometric residence permit from a post office or a courier service within 10 days of arriving in the UK
You can find more information about how to apply for the Care Worker visa on the official website.
Why is the Health and Care Worker visa important?
The Health and Care Worker visa is a key initiative by the UK government to attract and retain skilled and qualified medical professionals from overseas, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of free movement for EU citizens. The visa scheme aims to support the NHS and the adult social care sector, which face significant staff shortages and high demand for their services.
According to the UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, the expansion of the visa scheme is the “biggest visa boost for social care” and will help to “fill vital roles in our health and social care sector and support our recovery from the pandemic”. The visa scheme is also expected to benefit the applicants, who will have the opportunity to work in the UK in rewarding and fulfilling careers, while enjoying the benefits of the visa.
The Care Worker visa is a great opportunity for care assistants and nurses who want to work in the UK in the health and social care sector. It offers a reduced visa fee, an exemption from the health surcharge, a faster decision, and a pathway to settlement. To apply for the Care Worker visa, you need to have a job offer from an approved employer, a certificate of sponsorship, a minimum salary, and a good level of English. You also need to meet some other requirements, such as having enough money, a clean criminal record, and a negative tuberculosis test. You can apply for the Care Worker visa online and expect a decision within 3 weeks. If you are interested in the Care Worker visa, you can check your eligibility and start your application on the official website.