UK Visa’s explained: Skilled Worker/Health and Care Worker (Previously Tier 2)

Monday, January 10, 2022

If you are moving to the UK from overseas, you will need a visa to live and work in the UK. If you are coming to work as a doctor, you are coming to work in an eligible skilled job.

A Health and Care Worker visa allows medical professionals to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier, or in adult social care. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa. 

A Skilled Worker visa allows you to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. This visa has replaced the Tier 2 (General) work visa.

A doctor is allowed to work in the UK on either of the above visas. It is worth taking the time to check if you’re eligible to apply for the health and care worker visa, it is cheaper to apply for and you won’t need to pay the annual immigration health surcharge.

Am I eligible for a skilled worker or health and care worker visa?

The eligibility criteria for both visas include:

  • working in an eligible job, for example, a doctor or a nurse
  • having a job offer
  • being paid a minimum salary - how much depends on the type of work you do
  • usually proving that you can read, write, speak, and understand English

How long does the visa last?

Both visas can last for up to 5 years. You can extend your visa as long as you’re still eligible. After 5 years, you may be able to apply to settle permanently in the UK.

How long does it take to get a visa?

You can apply for a visa 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.

As part of your application, you’ll need to prove your identity and provide your documents. You can read more about that process here.

Once you’ve applied online, proved your identity, and provided your documents, you’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks if you’re outside the UK

How much do they cost?

The total cost of your visa is more than just the application fee. You need to factor in additional costs including bringing dependents over on your visa and a yearly healthcare surcharge. Depending on which visa you apply for the breakdown of costs is as follows:


 Skilled Worker Visa

 Health and Care Worker Visa

 Application fee from outside of the UK 

 Up to 3 years

 £610 per person 

 £232 per person

 Application fee from outside of the UK 

 More than 3 years

 £1,220 per person

 £464 per person

 Shortage occupation list  

 Application fee - up to 3 years

 View the shortage occupational list here

 £464 per person


 Shortage occupation list

 Application fee - more than 3 years

 View the shortage occupational list here

 £928 per person


 Annual healthcare surcharge (paid yearly)

 £624 per person


 Money to support yourself

 £1,270 upon arrival

 £1,270 upon arrival

 Dependent - Partner



 Dependent – 1 Child



 Dependent – Each Additional Child



How do I apply?

You should make sure that you have your Certificate of Sponsorship provided by your sponsor to hand when you apply, as it has the information you will need to complete the form. Your application is likely to be rejected if you do not have a Certificate of Sponsorship.

If you are applying from outside the UK, you can apply online for your visa's and review the documents you will need to provide here:

Click here to apply for a skilled worker visa

Click here to apply for a health and care worker visa

 At A&E Agency, we’re passionate about the quality of our people and proud of the services we provide. If you need information or guidance with your UK Visa Application, register today with A&E Agency. Our team are here to help international doctors find great work opportunities in the UK.  


GOV.UK. 2021. Health and Care Worker visa. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 10 December 2021].

GOV.UK. 2021. Skilled Worker visa. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 10 December 2021].