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Finally the pieces are falling into places. Gradually your dream of working in the United Kingdom as a doctor is coming true. It is just one step away, and that step is - getting the skilled worker visa. And in this article we are going to talk about online application for your visa for work in the UK- which recently been updated to a new name - Skilled Worker Visa.
Skilled worker visa or Health and Care Worker visa
From August 4, 2020, UK government has started this new Skilled worker visa which is called Health and care worker visa for qualified doctors, nurses, health professionals or adult social care professionals.
Throughout the application process it is called Skilled Worker Visa and it will be picked up by the system when your put your Certificate of Sponsorship number and Sponsor license number while filling out the application form.
What do I need to apply for a Tier 2 Health and Care worker visa
The documents that you need for the application are:
- Certificate of sponsorship (CoS)
- Criminal records certificate
- TB clearance certificate (based on your country of residence)
With the first two in hand, you can start the online application process.
Steps of the online application
The visa application has the following steps:
- Online application
- Submission at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) with supporting documents
- When approved your passport will have a vignette sticker for you to travel to the UK.
- Collection of British Resident Permit (BRP) in the UK.
When and how can I apply for it?
As mentioned above, with the CoS and your criminal record certificate(s) you can start the online application process. Remember that the validity of the CoS in three months. So you will have to apply within that time.
The online service for applying Skilled worker (Tier 2) visa is in GovUK website. For your visa, you select Skilled Worker Visa in the visa type selection. Please note, there is no health and care visa option, it will be picked up automatically. Remember that, for your partner and children, the visa type is PBS Dependent - Partner visa & PBS Dependent - Child visa respectively. And you apply separately in this GovUK Page.
The online process is quite self-explanatory. From the following discussion you will be able to answer the questions in the GovUK website application as well.
- Register an account with your information in their website as it will save your applications as and when you make it.
- Apply for myself > Continue (accepting all their terms and conditions), will have you come across more sections to fill, most of which maybe already filled except for your passport number and date of intended travel.
- Date of intended travel: This is an important date as possibly you will get the entry clearance (vignette sticker) for one month starting from this date. Your CoS has a start date, but in most of the cases the date isn't fixed (but make sure with your HR nonetheless). So, try to keep this date as close as to the date when you are actually going to travel for real, don't constrain that much with the CoS start date.
- Select Visa Type: All doctor jobs are in shortage occupation list and the visa is Tier 2 General.
Now if you had noticed the online part of the application has the following steps:
- Filling up the application
- Signing a declaration
- BRP Collection location
- Setting up an appointment at the VAC (submission and biometric)
- Pay for application (depending on your country it can be online payment or payment at the VAC)
- Register with commercial partner (varies from country to country)
- Print application
1. Filling up the application
This has 6 parts:
- Passport & travel information
- Personal details & travel history
- Family details
- Additional information
Passport & travel information
The following questions needs to be answered about Passport and travel document.
And the following questions regarding travel information:
- Date of planned arrival: Please keep this date as close to as real estimated travel date.
- How long do you intend to stay in the UK?: The difference between your start and end date in your CoS. It doesn't matter what is your contract with the employer, it matters what is mentioned in your CoS.
- The address: If you don't have a place figured out you can always use your hospitals address. Make sure you confirm this with your HR.
Personal details & travel history
Personal details is above your permanent residential address. Pretty basic!
Travel and Criminal History has a lot many questions. Out of them, answer the question regarding previous visa to UK, UK overseas territories, or commonwealth countries carefully. You will need to mention all visas from the last 10 years, so ensure you check any old/previous/expired passports to see if you have obtained any such visa in the past. Also the next question, have you travelled to the UK in the last 10 years? They will want you to mention if you went for your PLAB 2 exam. Don't assume that 'they should know'.
Then comes all the questions related to your criminal history. You should know the answers.
Information about your spouse/partner, father, mother, dependent, or non-dependent children. Again, pretty basic!
If you are also applying for a dependent, please understand first what that means.
A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:
- Husband, wife, or partner
- Child under 18
- Child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependent
You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK. Each dependant must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself.
You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependent's bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.
You won’t need evidence of your savings if you have a:
- fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor
- certificate of sponsorship stating that your sponsor will give each of your dependants at least £630 to cover their costs for a month if they need it
Have you ever received medical treatment in the UK? You'll know better.
Tier 2 skilled worker
The following parts:
- Job title: See your CoS
- Your Job: See your CoS
- Certificate of Sponsorship contains your sponsor license number.
- Maintenance: See your CoS. Talk to the HR.
For English language, there is no separate proof needed for Tier 2 visa. As you have a YES answer to the following question.
I kept it blank as I didn't have any other information that I wished to be considered as a part of my application. Simple!
2. Signing a declaration
You just have to read through the terms and conditions and type your name to confirm. Before this page, you will see the completed form that you just filled. Be very careful and check all the questions, as you CANNOT change anything in this form after you sign the declaration and confirmed.
3. BRP Collection location
You need to select a place for your BRP collection. It will be automatically set based on the address you gave earlier. You can change that too. Remember all the post offices don't have BRP services. The instruction in the page are self-explanatory.
4. Setting up an appointment at the VAC (submission and bio-metric)
The portal will set itself up according to your country as it varies a lot from country to country.
5. Pay for application
Depending on your country, it can be an online payment or payment at the VAC during submission of the documents.
6. Register with commercial partner
Some countries VAC needs you to register with them too.
7. Print application
Finally, it's done!
To conclude, you can keep the online application up to signing declaration as long as you have all the other documents ready. You can also halt at the booking an appointment part. If you made any major mistake, e.g. wrong visa category, you can create another application, your current application won't cause any issues so long as you don't proceed with it. If you made minor mistakes, e.g. wrong address, you can mention that in your cover letter as you can't edit the form again.
Frequently Asked Questions
After you make your Tier 2 visa application and submit your passport, when approved you get your passport back with a sticker on it, which is called a vignette sticker. It will have a validity of 1-3 months. During that month you will have to travel to the UK and collect your British Resident Permit (BRP) from the post office that you mentioned in your application. Your BRP is your real visa document.
You can pay £169 to change the vignette period. Please find the application process here in transfer of visa GovUK page. Choose transfer your visa to a new passport online and then subsequently you will have the option to choose To transfer or replace your visa (vignette).
Our next discussion will be about the documents that you'll need to apply for a Tier 2 visa.