Changes approved by the Government are set to make thousands of additional care workers from overseas newly eligible for a UK visa. Care workers have been added to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the role is now eligible for the Skilled Worker route.
What you need to know:
6145 Care workers and home carers plus related eligible job titles:
Home care assistant
Support worker (nursing home)
It is important to note that sponsorship from a licenced employer remains an essential requirement for care workers applying for a Skilled Worker visa under the amended rules.
The cost for a care worker to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa will be £232 where a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) is issued for 3 years or less, or £464 where a CoS is issued for more than 3 years.
Whilst home carers will be eligible for a Health & Care Worker visa, they will only be able to be sponsored on the route if they are working for an organisation which is able to meet the sponsorship requirement. In other words, private households and individuals will not be able to sponsor home carers unless they are a sole trader sponsoring someone to work for their business.
The UK is committed to becoming a high-skilled, high-wage economy and minimum salaries must reflect the professional skills that are required to provide quality care. The Health and Care worker visa will allow applicants and their dependents to benefit from fast-track processing, dedicated resources in processing applications and reduced visa fees.
The temporary measures will be in place for a minimum of 12 months from February 2022, providing a much-needed staffing boost while the sector deals with the additional pressures of the pandemic, at which point they will be reviewed.
Care workers and carers recruited to the UK will be able to bring their dependents, including partner and children, with the Health and Care Worker visa offering a pathway to settlement should they remain employed and wish to remain in the UK.
For further information and how to apply, please see