On 24 December 2021 the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed they would be accepting the MAC's recommendation and that care workers, care assistants and home care workers would become eligible for the Health and Care Visa scheme. In addition, care workers will be added to the Shortage Occupation List, in a move which aims to facilitate the recruitment of thousands of additional care workers within the UK.
The Government have been keen to stress that these measures are temporary only so will be kept under review but will be in place for a minimum of 12 months. It is anticipated that the required changes to the Immigration Rules will come into effect in February 2022.
Care providers who are struggling to fill vacancies and do not already hold a sponsor licence in the Skilled Worker route may wish to consider applying for a license ahead of these changes coming into force.
Care providers who already hold a sponsor licence should review the systems and processes they have in place to ensure compliance with the Home Office's Sponsor Guidance to minimise the risk of losing their licence and not being able to take advantage of these changes.