Statement of Change in Immigration rules: What Care Workers and Senior Care Workers need to know

The UK government has released a statement of change in immigration rules. The following changes concern care workers and senior care workers on the skilled worker route as stated in the explanatory memorandom:

“5.12 As announced by the Home Secretary on 4 December 2023 , changes are being made to tighten the Health and Care Worker route for Skilled Workers sponsored as care workers or senior care workers (occupation codes 6145 and 6146), in response to high levels of non-compliance and worker exploitation and abuse, as well as unsustainable levels of demand. In the year ending September 2023, 83,072 visas were granted for care workers and a further 18,244 visas for senior care workers, comprising 30% of all work visas granted. In addition, there were 250,297 visas granted for work-related dependants, 69% of which were for Health and Care Worker dependants. 

5.13 These changes:

Narrow the eligibility for workers to be sponsored in these occupation codes in England from all jobs to only jobs where the sponsor is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is currently carrying on a regulated activity (this does not affect the eligibility of jobs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland); and

• Remove the provision for dependants to accompany or join workers sponsored in these occupation codes (other than providing for children born in the UK to regularise their stay). 

5.14 Transitional arrangements are being applied for Skilled Workers who have applied on the route and are sponsored in these occupations before these changes come into force. These arrangements allow them to apply to extend their permission with the same sponsor, and settle, without the CQC regulation requirement applying to them. They also allow such individuals to be accompanied or joined by dependants, including in cases where they change jobs to another sponsor who meets the CQC regulation requirement.”

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