Immigration Rule changes opens door to recruit overseas health and senior care staff to work in the UK
Overseas workers in key health and care roles will have more opportunity to work in the UK following changes announces to the Immigration Rules, the Home Office has announced.
New jobs that have been added to the UK Shortage Occupation List, which gives people in these roles a major advantage in obtaining a skilled worker visa, include:
- laboratory technicians and for the first time in over a decade
- senior care workers and nursing assistants.
Further additions to the Shortage Occupation List include:
- Health services and public health managers and directors
- residential, day and domiciliary care managers and health professionals not elsewhere classified
- audiologists and dental hygiene therapists, as well as
- modern foreign language teachers.
These radical changes will help healthcare businesses and public services across the UK, which have struggled to recruit staff, to access to the best and brightest talent from all over the world in a post-brexit era.
The move follows the government’s rollout of the new points-based immigration system, after the UK left the European Union and opted out of EU freedom of movement at the end of last year.
Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:
Every year we welcome healthcare workers from across the world to our United Kingdom, with many having played a key role on the frontline of the NHS during the recent pandemic. This latest set of changes, combined with our Health and Care Visa, will ensure they can easily get the immigration status they deserve.
Under the points-based immigration system, people applying to come to the UK through the skilled worker route must gain 70 ‘points’ to be eligible for a UK work visa.
A job listed on the official Shortage Occupation List is worth 20 points.
Added to points gained under the mandatory criteria – an acceptable standard of English, a job offer from a licensed sponsor and the required skill level, worth 50 points – gives people applying for jobs on the shortage list the required 70 points for a UK work visa (work permit).
The updated list comes after a review published by the independent Migration Advisory Committee last year.
Other important changes made under the Immigration Rules include:
- Confirming the Student Visa Graduate route will launch from July 1;
- Updating the Skilled worker visa going rate to include a minimum hourly rate to safeguard against employers who may require employees to work longer hours to make up for the lower rates of pay;
- Replacement of the current Intimidation Policy with the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy; and
- Further building on the world-leading Global Talent route to automatically endorse recipients of international awards, including the Nobel Prize, to qualify for a visa, with more prizes to be added later in the year.
The government also announced plans to launch another new immigration route to help start-ups and fast-growing firms recruit the talent they need to innovate and grow during the Chancellor’s Budget speech as part of a range of measures for highly skilled migrants.
For the first time since the abolition of the HSMP visa, highly skilled migrants with a job offer from a recognised high-growth firm will qualify for a visa without the need for sponsorship or third-party endorsement.
The changes will be welcomed by industry and healthcare sector leaders who are desperate for staff, especially in hospitals, care homes and domiciliary care providers.
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