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 Care workers to be added to shortage occupation list
Immigration law

Care workers to be added to shortage occupation list

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INSIGHTS

The changes to the SOL are due from 15 February 2022

Given the current shortage of health care workers in the health and social care sector, which has undoubtedly been affected by both the requirement for care workers to be fully vaccinated and Brexit, at the end of last year the government announced that it was adding care workers to the shortage occupation list. This followed a recommendation by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to do so. The change will be introduced on a temporary basis for 12 months and will be reviewed later this year. The immigration rules are set to be amended on 15 February 2022 to give effect to this announcement.

The shortage occupation list (SOL) is designed to target areas where employers face a shortage of suitable labour. The occupations on the SOL are then subjected to less stringent requirements under the immigration rules making it easier for employers to sponsor migrants to fill vacant roles within those shortage occupations.

In order to benefit from these changes, employers seeking to recruit overseas nationals to fill care worker vacancies will need to hold a skilled worker sponsor licence with the Home Office. Those employers who do not have a licence, can apply to the Home Office now for a sponsorship licence to take advantage of this change.

How to apply

Care workers seeking entry to the UK from 15 February 2022 will need to apply for a skilled worker visa under the health and care worker visa route. In order to do so they will need to:

  • Have a job offer under standard occupational classification (SOC) code 6145 for care workers and home carers. This SOC code includes jobs with the following titles: care assistant, care worker, carer, home care assistant, home carer and support worker (nursing home);
  • Be sponsored by a licenced employer and be assigned a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) by their employer. The employer will need to provide a brief explanation on the CoS setting out how the employee meets the health and care visa eligibility requirements. Broadly, this includes employment in the NHS, an organisation providing medical services to the NHS or an organisation providing adult social care;
  • Be paid a minimum annual salary of at least £20,480;
  • Meet the minimum English language and financial requirements of the skilled worker route;
  • Obtain a criminal record certificate from the relevant authority in any country in which they have been present for 12 months or more (whether continuously or in total) in the 10 years before the date of application, and while aged 18 or over;
  • Obtain a tuberculosis certificate (if required).

Applications under the health and care worker visa route benefit from reduced visa fees and the requirement to pay the immigration health surcharge is waived. These reductions also apply to partners and dependants of the main applicant. UK Visas and Immigration has also stated that health and care visa applications will be prioritise for fast track decision making.

If you have any queries about these changes or sponsoring migrant workers, please get in touch with a member of our team.

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Speak to us today on 0330 159 5555

Get in touch

CONTACT US

Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.