The new Health and Care visa has been launched today for Tier 2 (General) sponsored employees in Health and Care.
Applicants for the Health and Care visa and their dependent family members will enjoy reduced visa application fees.
The new visa fees have been announced today as follows:
Tier 2, Health and Care visa under 3 years – £232 (reduced from £610, with a saving of £378)
Tier 2, Health and Care visa for over 3 years is also quoted as £232. This is probably a cut and paste error, unfortunately, not at all uncommon in the Home Office communications. It is more likely that the visa fee will be higher if the term is longer, as it is with the Health and Care visa in the Shortage Occupation List.
For Shortage Occupation Health and Care visa the new fee for under 3 years is announced as £232, same as non-shortage occupation. For a Shortage Occupation Health and Care visa for over three years the new fee is £464 (half price compared to other Tier 2 categories on the shortage occupation list). This is likely to be the correct amount for non-shortage occupation long term visa as well, but it remains to be seen how the government corrects the error.
From 31 March 2020, all Health and Care sponsored workers and their dependent family members are exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge. Those who paid their IHS as part of an application made on or after 31 March should receive reimbursement.
The new Health and Care visa is introduced as part of the current Tier 2 (General) Route for skilled workers. It is available both for entry clearance applications and for extension of stay.
The new visa is available to employees of the NHS or one of the Health Authorities, as well as to people engaged to provide specified services or activities. This includes persons employed by an organisation providing adult social care services. Full details are given in the Tier 2 Policy Guidance document.
The relevant SOC codes include:
- 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
Employers will be required to include a brief explanation in the Certificate of Sponsorship setting out how the employee meets the Health and Care Visa requirement. It will be the duty of the employer to inform the employees of their eligibility. Where the employer is an organisation contracted by the NHS to provide services, evidence of the contract arrangements may need to be provided as part of the visa application.