Earlier this year, there was reports on changes to the Immigration Rules, which are set to make thousands of additional care workers from overseas eligible for a UK visa. The UK government has confirmed in a Statement of Changes that care workers and selected related job titles will be eligible for a UK work visa under the Skilled Worker route.
So, what is a health care visa?
A Health and Care Worker visa allows medical professionals to come to work in the UK to do an authorized job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care. The new UK visa for care workers and care assistants is a new work permit that allows applicants to work in the UK over a period of time. This was introduced to address the lack of people taking on care positions. This now gives an opportunity for people outside of the UK to enter the country.
Who is eligible for the health care visa?
- Qualified doctors, Nurse
- Health professionals
- Adult social care professionals
It is also open to individuals applying under the skilled worker route.
What has changed?
The changes being made add care workers to the Shortage Occupation List and make the roles eligible for the skilled worker route. (The Skilled Worker route is for applicants with a specific job offer from an approved sponsoring employer.) The obligation of the Skilled Worker route is the job agreement must be one which involves duties and responsibilities involving skills equivalent to RQF level 3 which is compatible to holding an A-level. Applicants do not need to hold a formal qualification because it is a skill level job. These changes effectively remove the qualification level for care workers, allowing them to qualify for the route.
Standard Occupational Classification codes that qualify for a Health and Care Worker visa:
6145 Care workers and home carers
Related eligible job titles:
- Care assistant
- Care worker
- Home care assistant
- Home carer
- Support worker (nursing home)
Health and Care sector
Before applying for a Health and Care Worker visa you need to have a job offer from an approved UK employer. The UK employer that offers you the job will then be known as your sponsor because they are funding you to come and stay in the UK.
You must have a job offer from one of the following:
- The NHS
- An organisation providing medical services to the NHS
- An organisation providing adult social care
Care Workers added to the Shortage Occupation List
Applicants will benefit from lower salary requirements and reduced visa application fees compared to other Skilled Workers. Sponsors offering jobs in shortage occupations must offer applicants a salary at least equal to whichever is the highest of:
-£20,480 per year
-£10.10 per hour
-80% of the going rate for the occupation code, as listed in Appendix Skilled Occupations
The overall conclusion
To sum everything up, letting Care assistant workers and home carers apply for a Health & Care visa will overall benefit the UK. It will allow the UK healthcare sector to rise and help with a short-term relief plan to help with the labour shortages, as well as helping thousands of individuals find work and earn.