The Highs and Lows of a UK Care Worker Visa

The Highs and Lows of a UK Care Worker Visa | The Enterprise World

Immigration to the UK is a notoriously expensive process. The visa fees and immigration health surcharge are by far the highest in Europe. 

Yet, a Health and Care Worker visa is the only exception. If you have received an invitation to work in the UK in one of the eligible professions, you and your dependants will be exempt from the immigration health surcharge and the total cost of the visa for up to five years will be £1048 – at least £3000 less than for members of any other profession.

It is an exciting opportunity for carers who want to taste life in the United Kingdom and have the option of settling in Britain for good. It is also an opportunity for unscrupulous agents to mislead the vulnerable and uninformed.  

Here are some practical tips from UK care worker visa based on Kadmos immigration lawyers designed to keep you away from harm and make a success of your journey.

Tip #1: Look for a prospective employer, not an agent who deals in visas 

The Highs and Lows of a UK Care Worker Visa | The Enterprise World

Legally, you will need an employment contract before you travel to the UK. Don’t assume that you will find an employer once you’ve got the visa and arrived in the country. 

It is only your employer, not the agent, who can be your sponsor. You should agree to all terms of your employment in advance of accepting the offer. 

Your employment contract should describe your duties, and make it clear who you will be reporting to, your working hours, salary, holiday entitlement, and grievance procedure. 

Tip #2: Check if your employer has a sponsorship licence 

You can access the register of licenced sponsors online and check if the company that is offering you a job is on the list. 

Your certificate of sponsorship should show the name of the employer, your job title, and the salary you will be paid. 

Your employer may or may not pay for your visa and relocation to the UK, but it would be illegal for them to take money from you to offer you a job.

Tip #3: Find a reputable agency

The Highs and Lows of a UK Care Worker Visa | The Enterprise World

If your employer is an agency that provides live-in carers for private households, make sure that you will be an employee of the agency and the agency is regulated by the Care Quality Commission. 

Tip #4: Remember that even if you are perfectly fluent in English, you may still have to take the English language test 

There are approved language test providers for UK Visa and Immigration. You have to take the right English test which will involve all four components: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. You may also rely on a University degree if the course was taught in English, but you might still need a letter of confirmation from Ecctis.

Tip #5: Don’t forget that your worker visa will be tied to specific employment 

The Highs and Lows of a UK Care Worker Visa | The Enterprise World

You may be able to take on a supplementary job if time and energy allow for it, but you have to continue with your original employment contract for your visa to remain valid. 

If you decide to change employment once in the UK, you may do so, but you will have to apply to change your worker visa and pay the visa fee once again.  You must know your employer before you accept their offer of employment.

Things you may want to ask your employer include:

  1. Will the employer contribute to the cost of your accommodation?
  2. Will you be responsible for finding your accommodation or will the employer provide accommoation for you?
  3. Where will your accommodation be located? How far will it be from your place of work?
  4. How will you travel to work? Will you need a car? 
  5. How much money will you have to allow for accommodation, travel, and irreducible living expenses? 
  6. If you are relocating to the UK with children, ask if there are local schools and what they are like. You don’t have to send your children to a private school, but you may want to check if local state schools have vacancies and can accept your children.
  7. Will you be expected to work overtime and how much you will be paid for it?

It is always a good idea to check your certificate of sponsorship with an expert immigration lawyer before travelling to the UK or spending any money on visas or relocation.

UK-based lawyers specialising in sponsored employment can check if your certificate of sponsorship is genuine and correctly assigned to you. This way you will be saved from any unpleasant surprises and will travel with confidence in a deservedly bright future!

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