Overseas Care Workers to be included in Health and Care Worker Visa Route
The UK Government will include care workers in the Health and Care Visa route from 15 February 2022. The announcement is good news for overseas care workers wanting to work in the UK.
The reasoning behind the expansion of the current Health and Care Visa route is to bring relief to the Care Worker industry. The Health and Care Worker industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and faces staff shortages and pressures.
Shortage Occupation List and Care Workers
In its statement, the Home Office said that private households and individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor Skilled Worker applicants. Home Carers will thus only be able to be sponsored on the route if they are working for an organisation able to meet the sponsorship requirement.
The inclusion of the Care Workers on the Shortage Occupation List will likely stipulate a minimum annual salary of £20,480 for carers to qualify. If they meet this minimum salary, they should be eligible for the UK Health and Care Worker Visa.
Dependents will most likely be able to apply to accompany the main applicant, and it seems like fast-track processing will be available.
Criminal Record Requirement
Overseas care workers who apply on this route will have to provide a criminal record certificate. The certificate must be for all the countries that they have been working in for 12 months or more, for the previous ten years.
Length of the Care Worker Visa
All indications are that the expansion of the route will be in place for twelve months. The UK Government will then review the expansion. We are, however, still waiting for final guidance on the expansion.
How Breytenbachs can assist you
Breytenbachs recommend that UK Care Providers who do not have a Sponsorship Licence in the Skilled Worker route contact us. They can prepare in advance for this expansion by registering for a sponsorship license ahead of the implementation.
Unfortunately, care agencies who contract out carers to third parties and do not employ them to work directly will in all probability not qualify. We recommend that you speak to one of our consultants to clarify your situation.
Overseas care workers with a job offer are welcome to contact us.
Breytenbachs have a dedicated team of consultants dealing with Sponsorship Licences and the Health and Care Worker Visa. Contact us today to find out more or to arrange a consultation.