Compiled by Judit Adorjan
A new Health and Care visa has been introduced as part of the Skilled Worker route of the new points-based immigration system. This will provide fast-track entry, reduced application fees and dedicated support to individuals with a confirmed job offer in defined health professions; for a skilled role within the NHS; the social care sector or for those sponsored by the NHS.
Applicants will need to meet all relevant criteria for a Tier 2 (General) migrant, which are:
- a valid Certificate of Sponsorship
- evidence of an appropriate salary, which meets the relevant salary threshold
- being able to provide evidence of knowledge of English language
- sufficient personal savings when arriving in the UK
- being able to demonstrate ability to travel and travel history over the preceding five years
- valid tuberculosis test results (if from a listed country)
- a criminal record certificate from any country where they lived for 12 months or more in the last 10 years, if working with vulnerable people
Employers will need to include a brief explanation in the Certificate of Sponsorship setting out how the employee will meet the Health and Care Visa requirement.
Those eligible to apply for this visa and their dependants will be exempt from having to pay the immigration health charge.
As with the Global Talent visa, the Health and Care visa has been designed to attract the best and brightest from around the world. It has been criticised for excluding frontline care home workers and contractors. It has also been pointed out that a minimum salary threshold means many cleaners, porters and support staff will not qualify.
Frontline workers in the health and social care sector who don’t qualify for the Health and Care visa will pay the immigration health surcharge but will benefit from a reimbursement scheme if they have paid this on or after 31 March. Immigration health surcharge payments by healthcare professionals on Tier 2 visas who have paid since 31 March 2020 are already being refunded by the government.
For health and social care staff outside the scope of the Health and Care visa reimbursement arrangements will start from 1 October in 6-month reimbursements.
Migrate UK have extensive experience in this area of immigration law.
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