How to work as a UK Healthcare Assistant if you are from Nigeria

Healthcare Assistants provide personal care and support to patients in medical settings. They work closely with the patient and other professionals to help them through recovery while protecting their personal comfort and dignity.


If you are from Nigeria and would like to work in the UK as a Healthcare Assistant, you will need to make sure that you have certain documents and paperwork in place. This blog post will take a look at everything you need to organise:

What qualifications are needed?

There are no mandatory qualifications necessary for Nigerians who want to work as a Healthcare Assistant in the UK healthcare sector. Most Healthcare Assistant training will be carried out on-the-job under close supervision, however it can be an advantage if you have any of the following qualifications:


  • Care Certificate
  • Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • GCSEs at grades 9-4 (A* to C)
  • WAEC or SSCE 


The Caredemy online Care Certificate training course makes it easy to study for this qualification around your other commitments.

Do I need a visa to work as an NHS Healthcare Assistant?

As a Nigerian you will need a visa to work in the UK healthcare sector. The best type of visa to apply for is a Health and Care Worker visa, which comes under the skilled worker visa classification and was previously known as a Tier 2 visa.


To qualify for this type of visa, you will need to have suitable experience. This means you need to be working as a doctor, nurse, health care provider or social care professional.


The Health and Care Worker visa entitles you to work in the UK in adult social care, with the NHS or for NHS suppliers. You could find suitable roles in the NHS and care homes or domiciliary care providers as well as companies who provide services to the NHS.


This visa is valid for up to five years and you will need to update your visa if it expires or if you get a job with a different employer.

What are the requirements for a UK visa in Nigeria?

To qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa, you need to have a confirmed job offer which meets the necessary minimum salary requirements. The offer must be from an employer who has been approved by the UK Home Office to act as a sponsor. If your employer is not currently approved, they will need to apply for a sponsor licence.


Once you have secured a job offer, your employer will check that you meet the eligibility requirements for working in the UK healthcare sector. They will then provide a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’, which is an electronic record of your job offer and employer details. You must apply for your visa within three months of receiving your COS (Certificate of Sponsorship).


You will need to provide the following information to support your application for a Health and Care Worker visa:


  • Certificate of Sponsorship reference number 
  • Evidence of your standard of English*
  • A valid passport or other official proof of identity and nationality
  • Your job title, annual salary and job occupation code 
  • The name of your employer
  • Your employer’s sponsor licence number 


*You must be able to read, write, speak and understand English to a minimum of level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

What are the monetary requirements for a Health and Care Worker visa?

If you are a Nigerian who wants to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa, you need to have at least £1270 in a bank account to support yourself for a month after arrival. Alternatively, your employer can state on your Certificate of Sponsorship if they are willing to support you.


UK visa fees in Nigeria are currently £232 if you’ll be in the UK for up to 3 years, or £464 for more than 3 years

What else might I need?


There are several other documents that you could need to support your application for a Health and Care Worker visa. These include:


  • Bank statements
  • Proof of your relationship with your partner
  • Criminal record certificate from any countries you have lived in
  • Results of a tuberculosis test 


Applying for a visa to work in the UK as a healthcare assistant can be complicated. So we recommend that you seek assistance from a visa processing agency to make sure that your application is completed correctly and avoid any errors or delays.

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