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If you’re thinking about coming to the UK to work with the National Health Service (NHS), an NHS supplier or in adult social care, then the UK Health and Care Worker visa is for you.

One of the essential requirements of getting this visa is providing proof of your English language proficiency by taking the IELTS test.

IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) is a Secure English Language test (SELT) approved by the UK Home Office for visa applications to the United Kingdom. It's also available for both IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training. Read on to learn more about the UK Health and Care Worker Visa.

Who can get the UK Health and Care Worker Visa?

A Health and Care Worker Visa enables medical professionals to travel to or remain in the UK to work in adult social care, the NHS or one of its suppliers. Read on to learn how to apply and what documents are required.

Requirements for a UK Health and Care Worker Visa

If you want to be eligible for the UK Health and Care Worker Visa, there are some requirements you need to meet. To qualify for the visa, you must:

  • Be a certified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional

  • Work in a job that qualifies for health or social care

  • Work for a UK employer that’s been approved by the Home Office

  • Have a "Certificate of Sponsorship" from your employer that includes details on the position you have been given in the UK

  • Be paid a minimum salary - the amount will depend on the nature of your work

Which IELTS test is required for the UK Health and Care Worker Visa?

The UK Government has changed the rules regarding proof of English language for healthcare professionals and streamlined the process. From October 2019, test takers only need to take one IELTS test for healthcare professional registration and their Tier 2 visa application for the UK.

In order to get a UK Health and Care Worker Visa, you must be able to speak, read, write and understand English. You’ll usually need to prove your knowledge of English when you apply.

To qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa, you will have to obtain a level B1 on the CEFR scale. This is equivalent to an IELTS overall score of 4.0. This includes a score of 4.0 overall as well as 4.0 in each of the four skills.

Download the IELTS UKVI Decision-Making document (PDF, 1.4MB) to identify the right IELTS test for your requirements.

Health and Care Worker Visa duration

Your visa may be valid for up to five years before you need to extend it. You will have to update your visa or extend it if you change jobs or employers or if it expires.

You can apply to extend your visa as many times as you like, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.


1. Is IELTS enough for getting a UK Skilled Worker Visa?

A proof of your knowledge of English is definitely mandatory to obtain a UK Skilled Worker Visa among other things. When you apply for the visa, you will need to provide:

  • Your certificate of sponsorship reference number - your employer will give you this

  • Proof of your knowledge of English

  • A valid passport or other document that shows your identity and nationality

  • Your job title and annual salary

  • The occupation code of your job

  • The name of your employer and their sponsor licence number - placed on your certificate of sponsorship

2. What is the IELTS score required for UK Health and Care Visa 2023?

You will need to achieve level B1 on the CEFR scale in order to be eligible for the Health and Care Worker visa. This equates to an overall IELTS score of 4.0 as well as 4.0 in each of the four skills.

3. Which IELTS is best for work in the UK?

IELTS Academic , IELTS General Training and IELTS Life Skills are accepted by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI ) as proof of English proficiency for those wishing to work, study or migrate to the UK.