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Health and Care Visa Scheme to Include Care Workers and Home Carers

on Friday, 14 January 2022.

We recently reported on the recommendation of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) that UK immigration rules for care workers should be immediately relaxed in an effort to ease pressure on the sector.

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.

What Do The Changes Mean?

  • Care workers, care assistants and home care workers will qualify for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker category whereas currently it is only Senior Care Workers who meet the skill level requirement.
  • Under this immigration category these workers can be sponsored for up to five years, can come to the UK with their partners and children and can qualify for settlement in the UK after five years.
  • Applicants will benefit from a 50 percent visa fee reduction, an exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge and faster visa application decision-making times.

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.

For further information on these changes please contact Talitha Degwa in our Immigration Law team on 0738 4813 082, or complete the form below.

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