Do you need a visa to work for the NHS?

Working for the NHS
April 1, 2022
Do you need a visa to work for the NHS?

Many healthcare professionals often wonder if you need a VISA to work for the NHS. If you are interested in relocating to the UK to pursue a healthcare career, you will need to apply for a visa from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to work for the NHS.

We successfully place hundreds of EU and non-EU candidates into a variety of professional healthcare roles every year.  

Which type of visa do you need to apply for?

Working for the NHS as a healthcare professional from outside the EU will require a Tier 2 visa.

Sponsorship is granted by the employer in the form of a certificate of sponsorship (CoS). Once the visa is issued, you will have 28 days to arrive in the UK.  

After receiving your CoS, the process of applying for your digital Tier 2 application can begin.  

Who will cover your visa costs?

In terms of costs, some employers may offer to cover the expense of obtaining a visa.

We will be able to advise you on whether this is an option. There’s not an exact time frame, but you should receive your visa within a month.  

Are there any other requirements?

Depending on your practice area, you will need to be registered with the following professional councils:

You can apply for a position before registering with the relevant professional council if you hold specific degree level qualifications.  

We can act on your behalf to complete the registration process, provided the relevant forms have been completed.  

Sitting the IELTS

As part of your visa application, you are required, by law, to sit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam at a UKVI testing centre.

It is important to take the exam because it tests your English Language proficiency for entering the UK.

If you’re a Healthcare professional interested in relocating to the UK for work, you can download our app and browse a variety of healthcare jobs.

Download for Android

Download for iOS


Join the community

Download the Migrate app and gain instant access to jobs, educational resources and a global community of professional health and social care workers.

Download Migrate for iOSDownload Migrate for Android
Loved by 3,000+ Health and Social Care Professionals
Migrate - The UK healthcare recruitment app