Health and Care visas and the Immigration Health Surcharge

FAQ for RCN members

This page has some commonly asked questions and answers about the new Health and Care Visa and the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Immigration Health Surcharge reimbursement process

If you are not eligible for the Health and Care Visa, you will have to pay the Immigration Health surcharge.  However, you can now apply to be reimbursed for any payments that you made for the for the Immigration Health Surcharge on or after 31st March 2020.

To see if you are eligible, please go to the Government website for more information and to apply for the reimbursement

What is the Health and Care Visa?

The Health and Care Visa will make it cheaper, quicker and easier for healthcare professionals to work in the UK.

If you are eligible for the Health and Care Visa, you will be able to apply to live and work in the UK at a cheaper rate than other visa application routes. You and your dependants will also be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

A visa for up to 3 years costs £232. A visa for more than 3 years costs £464. The fee is the same whether you apply from inside or outside the UK. Your dependants will also pay the same amount.

If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia a visa for up to 3 years costs £177 and a visa for more than 3 years costs £409.

The visa application should also be processed within just three weeks.

Can I apply for the Health and Care Visa?

To be eligible for the Health and Care Worker visa your job must be in one of the approved occupation codes.

See Check if an occupation code is eligible for this visa on the gov.uk website.

What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?

The Immigration Health Surcharge is a fee paid by international workers in the UK in order to access NHS services.

Tier 2/Skilled Worker Visa holders and their family members are now exempt from having to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).

Other visas still attract a charge for IHS. If you are not sure if you have to pay the IHS, please check on the gov.uk website and see Who needs to pay.  

If I’m not eligible for the Health and Care Visa, do I still have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge?

The UK Government has announced that all health and care staff and their dependants from overseas who currently have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge will no longer be subject to this fee.

If you are eligible for the Health and Care Visa, you and your dependants will automatically be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge.

 If you are not eligible for the Health and Care Visa, you will have to pay the Immigration Health surcharge. However, you now apply to be reimbursed for any payments that you made for the for the Immigration Health Surcharge on or after 31st March 2020.

To see if you are eligible, please see Apply for your immigration health surcharge reimbursement on the government's website for more information and to apply for the reimbursement.

How will I know if I am eligible for the Health and Care Visa?

Applicants will apply using the existing Tier 2 (General) online application form. You will then check a box on the application confirming that you are applying for a Health and Care Visa. Your sponsor will confirm that they meet the sponsor requirements on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

If the CoS does not confirm that sponsor requirements are met, you will not be able to apply for a Health and Care visa and you will have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge

If I have already paid the charge, can I be refunded?

Yes, you will be refunded the charge if you have paid since 31 March 2020. More information on how to claim your refund will be published on Government’s Immigration Health Surcharge pages.

If you have submitted a request for a refund but have not received it, or you are still unsure as to whether you are entitled to claim a refund, please contact the Immigration Advice Service at the RCN.

We're here for you

If you're an RCN member needing advice on immigration matters, contact the RCN on 0345 772 6100 (open 8:30am-5pm on weekdays, and 9-4pm on weekends). We're also available via live chat or email.

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