Prior to 4 August 2020, generally all overseas workers were lumped together and had to apply for Tier 2 (General) migrant visa. The pandemic has shown the vital role that health care workers play; their sacrifice and bravery to continue to carry out their duties has not gone unnoticed.
We had the Thursday "Clap for our Carers" tribute and temporary free hospital parking NHS staff. The introduction of the Health and Care visa was also one of the actions taken by the Government to show the UK's gratitude to overseas health workers (qualified doctors, nurses and other health professionals in the social care field). The visa was launched on 4 August 2020.
If an individual qualifies under the Health and Care visa, they (and their dependants) will benefit from the following:
- A reduction of Home Office application fee. There is a further reduction of £55 if the individual is from an eligible country (i.e. most EEA countries);
- An exemption from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge. A saving of £624 per year per applicant.
- A faster processing time as opposed to the standard timescale of 8 – 20 weeks.
- Switching into this category due to the new PBS rules has made it an easy transition without the need to apply out of country.
The total saving for 1 applicant applying for the Health and Care visa for three years (compared to a Skilled Worker visa) is a minimum of £2000. This is a huge saving and would relieve the financial pressures of our beloved NHS overseas workers.