UK Health & Care Visa Scheme Expanded
The UK makes individuals working in the social care sector, i.e., care assistants, care workers, carers, home care assistants, home carers and support workers (nursing home) eligible for health and care visa for 12 months.
- In response to the ongoing pandemic situation, care staff is to be added to the shortage occupation list.
- This scheme comes as a £462.5 million investment in the Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund was announced to support the social care sector.
It will help recruit and enrol additional care workers to boost the adult social care workforce following brief changes to the health and care visa to make these workers qualified for a year. The scheme will also make it faster, less expensive and more straightforward for social care employers to enrol qualified workers to fill imperative holes.
Despite the amazing and indefatigable endeavours of social care staff, the Covid pandemic has contained a scope of staff deficiencies inside the social care area, setting pressures on the current workers.
The recommendations to make social care staff eligible for the Health and Care visa for 12 months and add it to the Shortage Occupation List to defeat the ongoing staff shortages the UK is facing has been made by the Migration Advisory Committee.
The minimum annual salary to recruit the social care staff is 20,480 pounds to qualify for the Health and Care visa. The UK is focused on turning into a high-talented, high-wage economy, and minimum pay rates should reflect the expert abilities needed to give quality care. The Health and Care visa will permit candidates and their dependents to profit from fast-track processing of the visa and decreased visa charges. The temporary measures are relied upon to become effective early next year and set up for at least a year, giving a truly necessary setting up support whilst the area manages the extra tensions of the pandemic.
Anyone working in the care sector as a care provider who does not hold a sponsorship under the skilled worker visa route can take advantage of the scheme and register for a sponsorship license ahead of execution. Providers who have no background knowledge and are new to visa sponsorship will be upheld through the interaction through a progression of activities in January and February to acquaint them with the framework of sponsorship and make them know how to act as a sponsor.
Care workers who remain employed and intend to live in the UK would be provided with a pathway to be eligible for the UK settlement visa along with their dependents, i.e., children and partner.
Applicants and their dependents will benefit from fast-track processing and a 50% visa fee reduction and exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).
Home Secretary Priti Patel MP said:
“The care sector is experiencing unprecedented challenges prompted by the pandemic, and the changes we’ve made to the health and care visa will bolster the workforce and help alleviate some of the pressures currently being experienced.
“This is our New Plan for Immigration in action, delivering our commitment to support the NHS and the wider health and care sector by making it easier for health professionals to live and work in the UK.”
The move follows an investment of £465.2 million in supporting enrollment and maintenance of social care workers. This investment is on top of the £500 million for workforce training, capabilities, and prosperity declared as a part of the Health and Social Care Levy.
How can we be of help:
We at Axis Solicitors have helped thousands of individuals from a myriad of professions (including health care workers) with their visa applications and other UK immigration matters. We can also help businesses get sponsor licence to hire more care workers under this route. Our Solicitors work closely with our clients; advising and helping them reach a favorable decision. If you are a health care worker and need assistance with your application, reach out today.