The government has finally confirmed that from 15 February 2022, care workers and home carers will be recognised on the Skilled Worker shortage occupation list. They will therefore be eligible to apply for a work visa for the UK.
The details were confirmed in a Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (HC 1019) and follows confirmation that the government would be accepting recommendations made by the Migration Advisory Committee.
The following requirements must also be met:
- the salary for the role must be at least £20,480 or £10.10 per hour, whichever is higher;
- the role must fall within SOC code 6145 – Care workers and Home Cares (which also includes Care assistants, Care workers, Carers, Home care assistants, Home carers and Support workers (nursing home);
- the applicant must meet English language, TB, financial requirement and criminal record requirements; and
- private households and individuals will not be able to sponsor under this route unless they are a sole trader sponsoring the individual to work for their business.
Further information should be provided when the Sponsor Guidance is updated which usually happens when the changes go live.
This is the first time the government has reacted to a shortage in labour by using the shortage occupation list to allow for sponsorship in relation to occupations where the skill level is lower than RQF 3. Whether or not this proves to be a permanent or temporary change remains to be seen.
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