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 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 visa you must be offered a job listed in the Tier 2 policy guidance, outlined below.

If you have been offered a job as a nurse or midwife, you will be eligible for the visa and you will be able to apply from 4 August 2020.

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

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.

At present, it costs migrants and dependant family members £400 per year per person. However, Government intend to increase this fee to £624 for adults and £470 for children from the 27th October 2020.

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.

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

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