Changes to the visa sponsorship process
Since 16th February 2022, the government has permitted UK employers to recruit overseas care workers through the visa sponsorship process.
For 12 months, care worker job roles have been added to the UK’s Shortage Occupation List, meaning that overseas care workers and Home Carers are now eligible to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa.
Employers wishing to recruit care staff under the Health and Care Worker visa process must have a valid Sponsor Licence to supply a prospective employee with the correct documentation to support their Care Worker visa application.
Until now, only senior care workers and Domiciliary Care Managers jobs have been featured on the Shortage Occupation List, but now, Home Carers, Care Assistants and Support Workers can take advantage of the temporary immigration rule changes.
If you would like guidance on how to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa, or, on how you can sponsor overseas care workers, call us today on 0121 667 6530 for further assistance.
What is a Health and Care Worker visa?
The Health and Care Worker visa is a new visa category that allows overseas nurses, carers, and medical professionals to work in the UK under sponsorship from an NHS provider, NHS supplier, or with Adult Social Care providers.
Sharing similarities with the UK Skilled Worker route, The Health and Care Worker visa is only available to care and medical professionals.
Coming with many benefits, Care Worker visa applicants can take advantage of reduced visa fees and are not required to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge. Care Workers are also eligible for reduced application fees and minimal Immigration Health Surcharge fees for 12 months only.
The Health and Care Worker visa remains valid for up to five years, with an opportunity for extension should you wish to continue working in the United Kingdom after.
Care Worker visa requirements
In order to become eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, applicants must have the following:
- A Certificate of Sponsorship issued by a Home Office-approved employer with a valid Sponsor Licence
- Meeting the minimum salary requirement of £20,480 or the ‘going-rate’- whichever is higher
- Minimum funds of £1,270 to support yourself when you arrive in the United Kingdom
- Meeting the minimum language requirement- you must be able to speak, read and understand English to the minimum level- you can prove this by taking the English language test. This is not applicable if you are from a majority English speaking country
In addition, all Health and Care Worker visas are subject to satisfactory DBS checks.
English language requirements
An essential requirement to acquiring a Health and Care worker or a Skilled Worker visa is a proven knowledge of the English language.
One can prove their English language knowledge in one of the following ways:
- Passing a Secure English Language Test (SELT) from an approved provider
- Having a GCSE or A level in English
- Having an academic degree level qualification that has been taught in English
- Coming from a majority English speaking country
When applying for a care workers visa, applicants need to submit the following documents with their visa application:
- A Certificate of Sponsorship reference number- given to employees by their care sector employer
- Proof of your knowledge of English- for example, a pass certificate from an English language test
- A valid passport
- Your jobs occupation code
- Your UK care providers Sponsor Licence number
- A Tuberculosis test result if you are from a listed country
- Evidence of sufficient personal savings to support yourself in the United Kingdom
How to apply for a Care visa
You can apply for Health and care visas online using the Skilled Worker visa application form.
You need to ensure that you tick the box for Health and Care workers in order for your application to go through correctly.
Along with the application form and supporting documents, the application fee should be paid when you submit your forms.
Migrant workers should apply within three months of receiving their Certificate of Sponsorship.
UK-based employers wishing to Sponsor an adult social care professional from overseas must have a valid UK Sponsor Licence. Until now, only Senior Care workers or Care Managers were permitted to be sponsored under the points-based system.
The fee for a Sponsor Licence depends on the scale of the company applying. Small businesses are liable to a fee of £536 whilst medium and large organisations must pay £1,476. Once a Sponsor Licence has been granted, employers can sponsor overseas care workers on UK visas. The Health and Care visa requires valid sponsorship before a health professional can be granted the correct care workers visa.
How can Birmingham Immigration Lawyers help?
Sponsoring care workers from overseas with a valid Sponsor Licence is essential to ensure you are not facilitating illegal working.
Birmingham Immigration Lawyers are experts in Sponsor Licence and worker visa queries. Our team are equipped to offer support and guidance should you need help to apply for UK visas or a Sponsor Licence.
For more information on how we can help, call our team today on 0121 667 6530.
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Last modified on October 27th, 2023 at 9:31 am
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