IHS Scrapped & New Health and Care visa Announced
The Government welcomes the vital contributions which doctors, nurses and other health professionals from overseas make to the National Health Service (NHS) and wider Health and Care Sector. The Health and Care Visa is part of the Skilled Worker route. It will ensure individuals working in eligible health occupations with a job offer from the NHS, social care sector, or employers and organizations which provide services to the NHS, who have good working English, are incentivized to come to the UK.
There will be fast-track entry, with reduced application fees and dedicated support regarding the application process, for eligible individuals to come to the UK with their families. The dependents of those who are eligible to apply for the Health and Care visa will also be exempted from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge.
Who can apply?
Individuals of all nationalities who have a confirmed job offer, in one of the defined health professions such as Doctors, Nurses, midwives, social workers, paramedics, Psychologists, Biological scientists and biochemists, Physical Scientists, Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, Ophthalmic Opticians, Dental practitioners, Medical Radiographers, Podiatrists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists & Occupational Therapists for a skilled role within the NHS, the social care sector or for NHS commissioned service providers. Although eligible applicants will benefit from reduced visa fees(£464) and an exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge, both of which will also be extended to their immediate family members, the main applicant must also meet requirements of the Skilled Worker route, including the relevant skill and salary thresholds.
When you can apply?
Despite the fact that the Home office publications have stated that the Health & Care Visa would be available from August 2020, we would have to wait for further updates, as Kevin Foster (Minister for Future Borders and Immigration) said in the parliament that ''applicants would be eligible to apply from 1st October 2020''.
What happened if I already paid IHS?
If you have paid Immigration Health Surcharge as a part of your application on or after 31st March 2020, then you would be eligible for a refund and you will be contacted by the home office. Although the home office has not confirmed whether Tier-2 dependents of Health care workers would be eligible for a refund on the IHS at this stage.