Finding care jobs in the UK with visa sponsorship will only take you part of the way to a successful relocation to a new life overseas. Of course you will have to secure an offer of employment with a licensed employer, but you will also need to obtain your care worker visa in the UK.
The process of getting care jobs in the UK with visa sponsorship has two elements. The decision of whether or not to offer you a job lies with the employer, but your visa application is processed via UKVI with the UK Home Office. It is possible to have your visa application rejected in spite of an offer of employment from a licensed UK sponsor.
What is Required for the Care Worker Visa UK?
The Care Worker Visa in the UK is known as the Health and Care Worker Visa. It is a variation of the Skilled Worker Visa (formerly Tier 2 Visa) that is designed to make the visa application process more streamlined for healthcare professionals.
A key difference with this visa is that the healthcare surcharge is not required. This means people sponsored under the Health and Care Worker Visa are not subject to fees for their own access to healthcare while in the UK.
All the other requirements for the visa are in line with the Skilled Worker Visa however.
Which Documents do I Need for My Health and Care Worker Visa Application?
In line with the Skilled Worker Visa, the following documents are required by UKVI to be granted a visa:
- Valid proof of ID such as a passport
- Proof of English language proficiency
- Confirmation of a negative Tuberculosis test from some countries
- Your Certificate of Sponsorship reference number
- Your job title and salary or hourly rate
- The occupation code as listed on the shortage occupation list
- The name of your employer & their sponsor licence number
- Evidence of personal savings to support yourself
- A valid criminal record check from your country
Proof of English Language Proficiency
You will usually prove your English language proficiency by taking one of a range of approved tests known as SELTs – with IELTS, for example. These are relatively simple exams for people with a good standard of English, but they require significant preparation nonetheless.
The alternative to SELT testing is holding a degree taught in English or in the UK. You can also be eligible if you have undertaken UK schooling at undergraduate level. To ascertain whether your qualification is valid as proof of English proficiency, you can use ECCTIS.
It is not always enough that English is widely used in your country. You do not need either of the above if you are a national of any of the following countries however:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- the Bahamas
- New Zealand
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
TB Tests for UK Visa Applications
A clear TB test is required for UK visa applications from residents of any of the countries in the list below.
TB tests must be conducted at a clinic that has been approved by the home office.
- Benin (get tested in Nigeria)
- Burkina Faso (get tested in Ghana)
- Burundi (get tested in Rwanda)
- Cape Verde (get tested in Gambia or Senegal)
- Central African Republic (get tested in Cameroon)
- Chad (get tested in Cameroon)
- Congo (get tested in Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Côte d’Ivoire (get tested in Ghana)
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Djibouti (get tested in Ethiopia)
- Dominican Republic
- East Timor (get tested in Indonesia)
- Equatorial Guinea (get tested in Ghana)
- Eritrea (get tested in Kenya)
- Gabon (get tested in Cameroon)
- Guinea (get tested in Sierra Leone)
- Guinea Bissau (get tested in Gambia or Senegal)
- Hong Kong
- Kiribati (get tested in Fiji)
- Kyrgyzstan (get tested in Kazakhstan)
- Laos (get tested in Thailand)
- Lesotho (get tested in South Africa)
- Liberia (get tested in Ghana)
- Macau (get tested in Hong Kong)
- Mali (get tested in Gambia or Senegal)
- Marshall Islands (get tested in Fiji)
- Mauritania (get tested in Morocco)
- Micronesia (get tested in Fiji)
- Niger (get tested in Ghana)
- North Korea
- Palau (get tested in Philippines)
- Papua New Guinea
- São Tomé and Principe (get tested in Angola)
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands (get tested in Papua New Guinea)
- Somalia (get tested in Kenya)
- South Africa
- South Korea
- South Sudan (get tested in Kenya)
- Sri Lanka
- Swaziland (get tested in South Africa)
- Togo (get tested in Ghana)
- Tuvalu (get tested in Fiji)
- UzbekistanVanuatu (get tested in Fiji)
What is a Certificate of Sponsorship?
A certificate of sponsorship is assigned by your employer once they make you an offer of employment.
It is an indication that they are willing to sponsor your visa, and in effect it is a request from the employer to the Home Office to consider your visa application.
It is not a physical document – it is only a digital record, and your employer will be able to issue you your certificate number before you apply.
What about the Occupation Code?
Again, this is straightforward – every job title eligible for visa sponsorship is listed on the shortage occupation list with its own code.
The code for Care & Support Workers is 6145, for example.
Evidence of Personal Savings
UKVI require you to have a certain level of funding to support yourself during your initial time in the UK. You could potentially be at risk without some money to support yourself should anything go wrong, so this requirement is about ensuring your safety rather than excluding the less fortunate.
The current requirement is a minimum of £1270 of funds available, but you’ll need to show that this amount has been available & in your account for a minimum of 28 days. You can find a good currency converter here.
Copies of bank statements are usually a valid document to demonstrate this.
Police Checks for UKVI
Police checks are required by UKVI for healthcare or education roles since they involve working with vulnerable groups, and care jobs in the UK with visa sponsorship fall into this bracket
Requirements for this will vary according to which country you are residing in, and multiple checks are sometimes necessary if you’ve relocated before.
Guidance is available for obtaining police checks in individual countries.
How Much Does the Visa Application Cost for Care Jobs in the UK with Visa Sponsorship?
You should be wary of employment agencies requesting payment for recruitment services since this is an illegal practice in the UK. Similarly, it is illegal for employers to make charges related to employment. There are some well known scams in which people are approached by somebody posing as an employer or agency and requesting money with the promise of a job. Please be mindful and verify any communication relating to employment.
With this being said agencies are legitimately able to offer paid services such as CV assistance or training, for example.
A visa application fee currently ranges from £625 to £1425 depending upon circumstances. The health surcharge, which is waived for the Health and Care Worker visa, is currently £625 per year.
Visa applicants are liable for their own application fees only.
There is a cost for the employer for assigning the certificate of sponsorship – this should be met by the employer and not the candidate.
The costs of relocation for the candidate are usually their own costs to bear unless agreed otherwise with the employer. Often, but not always, employers will make a contribution towards these costs.
What Else can I do to Improve my Chances of a Care Job in the UK with Visa Sponsorship?
Leading agencies in the UK are currently offering candidates to employers as ‘care certificate ready‘.
This means that you are in competition for UK sponsorship care roles with people who can show that they have already achieved this UK care training standard.
You can start your Care Certificate training with CareTuition today and improve your chances of UK sponsorship in care.