Expansion of UK Health and Care Visa Scheme

We are extremely pleased to see the new possibilities for overseas social workers, care assistants and home care workers.

The UK Government continues its’ commitment to support the NHS and the wider health and care sector by making it easier for health care professionals to live and work in the UK. New temporary measures which are expected to come into force in early 2022 and remain in place for a minimum of 12 months, will allow for recruitment under the existing UK Health and Care Worker Visa category, to address staff shortages within the UK’s social care sector.

The Health and Care Worker visa, which was introduced during the pandemic in August 2020, allows medical professionals to come or stay in the UK to work with the NHS. Workers and their dependants who arrive or apply for leave to remain in the UK under this category and remain employed by the NHS for five years have an option to apply for indefinite leave to remain.

A new SOC Code will be added to the Code of Practice for Skilled Workers within the Shortage Occupation List , and it will cover job titles of Care Assistant, Care Worker, Carer, Home Care Assistant, Home Carer and Support Worker in a Nursing Home.

Applicants under the Health and Care Worker visa benefit form a 50% visa fee reduction. The standard application fee for a Health and Care Worker visa is £232 per person for those who are applying for visa for up to three years, and £464 for applicants applying to stay in the UK for more than three years. Health and Care Worker visa applicants also benefit from an exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge and a receive speedier decisions.

Next Steps for Care Providers

Employees under the Health and Care Worker Visa will need to have a valid Certificate of Sponsorship. Our Immigration and Employment experts support care providers already registered as sponsors by advising about compliance with the sponsorship requirements, and assist those who wish to apply for Sponsor licence in the Skilled Worker route.  We also  draft contract of employments, the necessary policies and provide employment advice.

Get in touch for further advice.