Blogs > Visas

Extending your Health and Care Worker Visa

  • November 10, 2022

The Skilled Worker Visa has replaced the Tier 2 visa. More specifically, the Health and Care Worker Visa is the category of Skilled Worker Visa that you will now use as an international doctor coming to the UK. If you’ve reach the end of your old Tier 2 visa or Health and Care Skilled Worker visa and you’ve been offered the chance to stay on with your NHS employer then you’ll need to apply for an extension. The new fees and requirements are slightly different to the old Tier 2 system so here we explain how you can extend your Health and Care Worker Visa.

Can I extend my visa?

You can usually apply to extend a Skilled Worker visa (previously Tier 2 (General)) work visa if all of the following are true:

  • you have the same job as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • your job is in the same occupation code as when you were given your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • you’re still working for the employer who gave you your current certificate of sponsorship

What about dependents?

Your partner or children will need to apply separately to extend their visa. They can either apply at the same time as you, or at any time before their current visa expires.

Please note: whilst your application is in process you must not travel outside of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do.

What if I currently have a Tier 2 (General) work visa?

You’ll have a Tier 2 Health and Care Worker visa if either:

  • you applied for a Health and Care Worker visa before 1 December 2020
  • you had a Tier 2 (General) work visa which you’ve extended as a Health and Care Worker visa

You may need to meet different eligibility requirements, depending on:

  • whether you got the certificate of sponsorship for your first Tier 2 visa before or after 24 November 2016
  • whether you applied for your first Tier 2 (General) or Skilled Worker visa before 6 April 2021
  • your occupation code - some have different going rates

If you are applying as a doctor then the varying eligibility requirements from the above are unlikely to apply since they basically require you to me minimum salary requirements which all doctors’ pay scales cover.

What fees will be involved?

There is no longer a fee for having your biometric (fingerprint and photo) taken.

The standard application fee depends on whether you’ll be in the UK for:

  • up to 3 years - £232 per person
  • more than 3 years - £464 per person

If you are applying as a doctor then the Healthcare surcharge is not applicable so there are no additional fees for that.

When do I apply to update my visa?

You can apply to extend your visa up to 3 months before the start date of your extension.

You can continue working in your current job while your new application is being considered - as long as you apply before your current visa expires.

How do I start my application to update my visa?

You must apply online to extend your visa application: Click here.

How long will it take to get a decision?

You’ll usually get a decision within 3 weeks of your application date.

You’ll be contacted if your application will take longer, for example because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances, for example if you have a criminal conviction

How can BDI Resourcing help?

If you have any questions regarding your Health and Care Visa or if you are considering your options before extending, feel free to email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of vlogs and blogs to the group every day. We will also be on hand to answer all of your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 60 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go to IMG Advisor the Podcast. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.


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