Carers finally included in Health and Care visa route
From 15 February 2022, care workers and home carers will be eligible for sponsorship. The Government is expanding the Health and Care category of Skilled Worker visas to include them.
Requirements of note include:
- Applicants will have to demonstrate English language ability.
- The minimum applicable salary will be £20,480 or £10.10 per hour.
- Applicants will be required to provide a criminal record certificate for any country they have lived in for 12 months or more in total, in the 10 years before the date of application.
- Note that private households or individuals cannot sponsor Skilled Workers.
Applicants will benefit from reduced health and care visa application fees of £232 for a 3-year visa or £464 for a 5-year visa. They are also exempt from the costly Immigration Health Surcharge.
Sponsorship costs, including the Immigration Skills Charge, and incidental visa application fees apply.
We would encourage any employers who do not yet have a sponsor licence and who wish to sponsor Skilled Workers, to apply for one now. The Home Office may scrutinise sponsor licence applications from care homes more closely, which can extend sponsor licence application processing times.
Once the licence is in place, sponsors will be able to request defined certificates of sponsorship to support visa applications from overseas. For applications made from within the UK, sponsors will need an allocation of undefined certificates of sponsorship. The processes to request certificates of sponsorship differ and can take several weeks to process.
Once a certificate of sponsorship is assigned by a sponsor, the worker can use it to support a visa application. Health and Care visa applications are prioritised such that applicants benefit from a 3-week fast-track processing timescale.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like assistance in sponsoring workers for Health and Care visas or if you have any other immigration questions.