UK Dependant Visa Rules for Care Workers

What Are the New UK Dependant Visa Rules for Care Workers in 2024?

In recent years, the UK’s approach to immigration, particularly concerning its care sector, has undergone substantial revisions. Effective from 11 March 2024, new rules will affect the capability of the care workers to bring their families to join them. This blog post explores the latest regulations affecting the dependants of Health and Care Workers, focusing on the new dependant visa rules in the UK.

Overview of the Health and Care Worker Visa

The Health and Care Worker Visa is a fundamental component of the UK’s strategy to strengthen its healthcare services by attracting skilled foreign nationals to its care sector. This visa caters specifically to healthcare professionals, including registered nurses, pharmacists, doctors, and adult social care workers. 

Securing a Health and Care Worker Visa requires meeting several specific criteria the UK government sets to ensure that only qualified individuals enter the health and social care sectors. These include:

  1. Applicants must be qualified professionals in fields such as medicine, nursing, or other health and social care roles. 
  2. The visa applicant must secure an eligible health or social care job position. 
  3. The employing organisation must be authorised by the Home Office.
  4. Applicants must have a valid proof of sponsorship from an employer.
  5. Applicants must be paid a stipulated minimum salary, which varies depending on the specific job within the healthcare sector. 

The visa allows these professionals to work in the UK for up to 5 years, with the chance of extending their stay multiple times, provided they continue to meet eligibility requirements. After five years, Health and Care Worker Visa holders can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR).

Gaining ILR status removes restrictions imposed by visa sponsorship. It allows visa holders to switch employers or job roles without needing to secure additional visas, thereby providing significant flexibility and stability for healthcare professionals and their families.

Also Read: What Are ILR Dependant Visa Requirements?

Health and Care Worker Dependant Visa

The Health and Care Worker Dependant Visa allows family members of those holding a Health and Care Visa to join them in the UK. Dependents typically include a spouse, partner, or children under the age of 18.

This visa enables the dependents to live in the UK for the exact duration as the main sponsor, allowing families to stay together while the main visa holder works in the health or social care sector.

Get to know about: UK Tier 2 / Skilled Worker Dependant Visa Documents Checklist

New UK Dependant Visa Rules for Health and Care Workers

Effective from 11 March 2024, care workers or senior care workers are no longer permitted to bring dependents with them when they move to the UK for employment. This marks a substantial shift in the UK immigration policy, aiming to manage the number of dependants entering the country under this specific visa.

Additionally, only providers registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England will now be eligible to sponsor applicants for the Health and Care Visa. This change is designed to ensure that only organisations meeting specific regulatory standards are allowed to bring health and care professionals into the country.

Meanwhile, applicants in other eligible health and social care professions may continue to sponsor dependents as per the previous guidelines.

Get to know: How to Convert Dependant Visa To Work Visa in the UK

Are There Any Other Ways to Bring Dependents to the UK?

Despite the recent restrictions on dependents for care workers and senior care workers visas, alternative pathways and visa types may permit the inclusion of family members for those coming to work in the UK.

For those who do not qualify under the dependent rules of the Health and Care Worker Visa, applying for a Family Visa might be a viable option, allowing spouses, partners, and children to join or stay with their family in the UK. The main applicant must fulfil the requirements to be able to do so.

Another option is that the main visa applicant may consider switching to the Skilled Worker Visa, which allows dependents to accompany the main visa holder. Please note that to be eligible for this route, they must meet requirements like having a job offer from a licenced employer and fulfilling the salary requirement. 

To discover the most appropriate route to bring your dependant to the UK, consulting with immigration experts or legal advisors can be highly beneficial. They can guide you in choosing the right visa options based on individual cases, which have more chances of approval. 

Also know about: UK Student Dependent Visa New Rules 2024

Let Spouse Visa Lawyers Help

At Spouse Visa Lawyers, we specialise in family and dependent visa applications, providing expert guidance tailored to your unique situation. Whether you’re exploring alternative visa options or need assistance with an application, our team is here to support you every step of the way.

Contact us today to ensure your family’s journey to the UK is smooth and successful.

You Ask, We Answer


Care workers who are already sponsored and residing in the UK can maintain their employment and continue having their dependent family members live with them.

Yes, the Health and Care Worker Visa has a minimum salary requirement. Most care workers are required to earn a minimum of £23,200 or adhere to the national pay scale for their specific role, whichever amount is greater.

Yes, Health and Care Worker Visa holders can switch employers within the UK, but they must still work in eligible health or social care roles, and their new employer must also be approved by the Home Office.

 A Certificate of Sponsorship is a document a licensed UK employer provides detailing the role offered to the visa applicant. It’s required for the Health and Care Worker Visa to prove that the applicant has a legitimate job offer in the UK and that the employer meets Home Office standards.

If you cannot bring dependents under specific visa conditions, other visa types, such as the Skilled Worker Visa or Family Visa, might be suitable. It’s recommended to consult with immigration professionals to explore all possible options.

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The information provided in our articles is intended solely for guidance and should not be considered legal advice. We do not assume responsibility for any liabilities arising from the information in written articles and recommend that all readers seek professional advice before taking any action. For those wishing to discuss their case with a professional, please feel free to contact us directly.

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