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UK Physiotherapist Visa: A Guide For Employers & Physiotherapists

Physiotherapists are considered part of the UK workforce in the health and care service. This industry is in dire need of more workers, which makes the UK more open to qualified migrant workers. However, for migrant workers to secure new jobs or a position as a physiotherapist, they require a visa.

Businesses hiring workers and migrant workers alike need to be aware of their options, the requirements, and how to prepare for an application for UK visas. For this reason, speaking to an IAS legal advisor or lawyer can be greatly beneficial. Speak to one of our team members today at +44 (0)333 305 9375 to get started.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS For Your Work Visa

    Our team of immigration lawyers can provide the right support to ensure you secure a work visa for yourself or your employees.


    Your immigration lawyer will consider your case and offer bespoke advice, and they will advise you on the optimum route to take to achieve your desired result.

    By working with IAS for your or your employee’s work visa, you make sure that you have an expert eye and hands on your case to boost your chances of success.

    We ensure you are applying for the most suitable work visa to boost your chances of success.

    We provide advice on the appropriate documentary evidence required to support your case.

    You get a personalised approach from a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer

    You work with you and liaise with the Home Office on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome.

    Regardless of what your personal immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    UK Physiotherapist Visa: An Overview

    If you are outside of the UK, it is necessary to apply online to get a Health and Care Worker visa for physiotherapists. This will allow the qualified overseas worker to come into the UK and find an exciting opportunity to do an eligible job with an employer who has been approved by the Home Office.

    This specific type of visa is enabled for protected medical occupations, which include physiotherapists with high-quality training, making them exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge.

    Those who are already in the UK on a general (tier 4) or student visa will be required to switch to the Health and Care visa from this visa.

    The process of hiring employees from abroad can be challenging. For assistance, get in touch with our immigration team.

    How To Bring Skilled Physiotherapists To The UK: Business Requirements

    For a business to be able to bring a physiotherapist into the UK to join their team, the business needs to acquire a sponsorship licence from the Home Office, enabling them to provide support and visa sponsorship for physiotherapist migrants.

    The Health and Care worker visa is a type of visa in the Skilled Worker category. This category requires employers to provide a Certificate of Sponsorship to the employee.

    To obtain a visa sponsorship licence, the business needs to apply for one if they do not already have one.

    Sponsor licences are issued by the Home Office UKVI to the business, which will grant the business permission to sponsor workers for their business. Only organisations can hold a sponsorship licence.

    The associated fees for this licence may be quite large; however, once the licence is granted, it is valid for four years with no need for annual renewal. However, there will be an additional fee that needs to be paid for each certificate of sponsorship allocated.

    This costs £199 for each certificate.

    Additionally, the business will need to ensure that there is a team in place for sponsor licence management. This is necessary to comply with the criteria for maintaining a sponsor licence. Key personnel need to be assigned to this, but they must already be existing employees of the companies.

    To acquire a licence, these key personnel must already be assigned before the licence is granted. A licenced sponsor needs to allocate responsibilities to each key person in their organisation to run the SMS system (Sponsor Management System)

    There are four key personnel required for this:

    1. The Authorising Officer: This is an individual who is responsible for the recruiting of migrant workers and will ensure that all sponsorship duties are met by the company.
    2. The Key Contact: This individual will be acting as the primary person in contact with the Home Office.
    3. The Level 1 User: This person will carry out all day-to-day activities concerning the sponsorship using the SMS.
    4. The Level 2 User: This is an individual who will be carrying out particular activities using the SMS, but they will have fewer permissions than the Level 1 User.

    Each of the key personnel that are appointed will need to meet certain suitability requirements.

    With these personnel allocated, the business should be able to secure a visa sponsorship licence. Once the licence is granted, the companies can then allocate certificates of sponsorship to full-time migrant employees.

    Physiotherapists’ Requirements To Qualify For The Skilled Worker Visa

    Before a physiotherapist can apply for a Health and Care Worker visa in the UK, they must meet certain criteria; some of these include the following:

    • The individual must be a qualified physiotherapist.
    • The individual must have a confirmed job offer from a UK employer that has been approved by the Home Office.
    • The applicant must have received a Certificate of Sponsorship from their employer, including a notation of the role that they have been offered.
    • The job the applicant is being hired to do is one accepted and approved by the Home Office.

    As well as this, every physiotherapist is required to go through an HCPC Physiotherapy Registration. This means that they need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council.

    • The first step to registering with HCPC is to fill out the online form.
    • From here, email your application form to HCPC.
    • Should the applicant’s application be successful, they will need to pay the HCPA registration fees via an online account.
    • After this, the application will be confirmed.

    With HCPC registration and meeting the other additional criteria, the physiotherapist applicant will also require documentation for their visa. These include the following:

    • certificate of sponsorship must be provided. This should include the reference number, job title, occupation code, annual salary, name of the business employing them, and the sponsor licence number.
    • There needs to be proof of English language proficiency provided by the applicant.
    • A passport and other ID documents.
    • Financial documentation, for example, the approved salary.
    • Evidence of relationship with children or spouse if they are coming with the applicant.
    • A TB test certificate (if required).
    • A certificate of no criminal record.

    All documents that are not in English will need to be translated into English and verified.

    Should the applicant be applying for dependents as well as themselves, it is best to apply together.

    How To Apply For A UK Physiotherapist Visa (Skilled Worker Visa)

    The first step to acquiring a Health and Care Worker Visa for a physiotherapist in the UK is to prepare and collect all required documents in advance. If they do not yet have a job secured in the United Kingdom, they will need to search for companies that have a licence for visa sponsorship physiotherapist jobs.

    Not having all the relevant documents ready to be sent off for the application can cause delays or even a refusal of the visa, which would require the applicant to apply again.

    Once the applicant has all their relevant documents collected and has received their Certificate of Sponsorship from their employer, they can start their application form online.

    This application is done through the Skilled Worker visa route. If the applicant’s partner or children will be joining them in the UK, they can apply for a dependent partner visa or a dependent child visa.

    The decision for this visa will usually take an average of three weeks after the application has been sent online, along with all the additional documentation. However, if it may take longer for you to get a decision, you will be contacted regarding this.

    Once the decision has been made, you will receive an email or letter regarding the decision on your application.

    Alternative Routes To Work In The UK As A Physiotherapist

    The Health and Care Worker visa is the primary visa available for physiotherapists looking to be a successful candidate for a UK work visa. All overseas healthcare professionals seeking jobs will apply via this visa.

    However, those who wish to enter the UK to enter physiotherapy education can apply for a student visa and can then get access to apply for a Skilled Worker visa (the Health and Care Worker Visa route) once they finish their degree.

    Alternatively, those who may be considering training in the UK as physiotherapists can enter the UK using a temporary worker visa. Depending on the reason for travel, there are different available visas.

    That being said, for physiotherapists who are seeking work in the UK with a Home Office-verified UK company, the visa option available is the Health and Care Worker Visa, which is a subcategory of the Skilled Worker Visa route.

    You can obtain a UK physiotherapist visa easier with the assistance of our team of legal professionals.

    How IAS Can Help Businesses With Their Sponsor Licence

    One of the most complex parts of hiring a migrant physiotherapist for businesses is the Sponsor Licence. Sponsor licences can seem very complicated for businesses, with many responsibilities and duties that have to be met to maintain their licence.

    Businesses must ensure that they are eligible and that the roles they are hiring for are also eligible. Additionally, it is also critical that businesses have their Sponsor Management System and key personnel in place before applying, as this is a critical aspect of the application.

    It can all be very confusing, and this is why we advise that businesses seek an expert in immigration law to help. At IAS, we are experts in immigration law, with a legal team that can help businesses get their sponsor licence worry-free. Whatever part of the process may be confusing, we can help you through the licence acquisition and management.

    Give us a call today at +44 (0)333 305 9375, and one of our legal team will get you started!

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes, physiotherapists seeking work in the UK need to have a job offer before applying for a visa. This is because a certificate of sponsorship is a necessary document for the Health and Care Worker Visa, and this can only be provided by your employer.

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