Health & Care Worker Visa Opening to More Carers and Social Care Staff
In December 2021 the Home office announced new measures would be brought in to address the acute shortage of carers and social care staff in the UK. The new immigration rules for this change were published last month and came into effect this week.
From 15 February 2022, entry level care workers and home carers have been included in the Shortage Occupation List, thereby opening the Health and Care Worker Visa to more foreign workers, allowing businesses to recruit suitable candidates from overseas.
The entry level care worker jobs (Occupation Code 6145), that are now eligible to be sponsored for a Health and Care Worker visa include:
- Care assistant
- Care worker
- Home care assistant
- Home carer
- Support worker (nursing home)
The senior care worker jobs (Occupation Code 6146) that are also eligible to be sponsored for a Health and Care Worker visa include:
- Senior care assistant
- Senior carer
- Team leader (nursing home)
In addition, the classification means that the Home Office application fee for the above candidate's visa application is much lower than would normally be the case for a Skilled Worker visa, the candidate will not pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for their visa application and the Home Office will fast track the processing of these types of visa applications as a matter of course because the country needs these types of foreign skilled workers urgently. There may also be an opportunity to expedite the processing of these types of visa applications depending on where the application is to be submitted and subject to additional Home Office fees.
The visa applicant will still need to show how they satisfy all of the requirements in the immigration rules for their visa application in the UK or abroad, including providing a satisfactory criminal record certificate as required.
The Health and Care Worker visa holder can also bring their partner and children with them to the UK provided their family members can show how they meet all of the requirements in the immigration rules for their visa applications and they can also pay the required UK Government fees for their immigration applications. Their partner and children would be able to work and attend school in the UK subject to some conditions in the rules.
The change in the rules is likely to be temporary and as the Shortage Occupation List is subject to frequent change, employers have to ensure they are up to date on the latest status of the list and the impact on recruitment.
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