Home UK Immigration What do new UK visa rules for overseas care workers mean for you?

What do new UK visa rules for overseas care workers mean for you?

by source


20th February

THE Tories in Westminster have pushed forward with plans to make it impossible for care workers to bring their family members to the UK.

Home Secretary James Cleverly laid an order in the House of Commons on Monday, which will see the changes take effect on March 11.

But what is the ban and how will it impact the care sector?

What will this mean for care workers hoping to move to the UK from overseas?

Any care worker who takes up employment in the UK will no longer be able to bring loved ones such as spouses, partners, and children, with them under the visa rules set to go live in March.

Children and dependants were previously allowed entry into the UK under the Health and Care Worker visa.

Elsewhere outside of the care sector and NHS, any spouse or partner of a UK citizen wishing to move to the UK will not be granted a visa unless they earn a salary of £29,000 from April 4. This will be gradually scaled up to £38,700 by “early 2025”.

The UK Government could be facing legal action over the salary threshold plans.

Why are the Tories making these visa changes?

It’s part of their bid to tackle “legal migration” and reduce the number of people coming from overseas to live in the UK.

The UK Government has said that approximately 120,000 dependants accompanied 100,000 care workers and senior care workers in the year ending September 2023.

Announcing that he was pressing forward with the plans, Cleverly claimed that it is “one part of our plan to deliver the biggest-ever cut in migration”.

What does it mean for the care sector?

The move may cut migration numbers, but it is also likely to have a detrimental impact on filling the thousands of care worker vacancies across Scotland and the UK.

The vacancy rate in social care is currently at around 9.9%. This is the equivalent of around 152,000 empty positions on any given day, with care providers stating explicitly that overseas workers are crucial to staffing.

Cash-strapped local authorities have also reported issues putting care packages in place, due to a lack of available workers.

After the impact of Brexit on the industry, Cleverly’s decision is likely to compound the issue even further.

What was the reaction?

Scottish politicians north of the Border were furious at the decision – with SNP Westminster group leader Stephen Flynn decrying the policy as “populist idiocy”.

Scottish Minister for Social Care Marie Todd said the Scottish Government was in clear opposition to the plans and called for a fairer migration system.

She said: “The care sector is one of the most badly impacted by Brexit, with many valued staff choosing to leave Scotland as a result – and the UK Government’s attempt to ban overseas workers from bringing family members with them will damage our care sector further, by deterring workers from coming here.”

Donald Macaskill, CEO of Scottish Care, also hit out at the move on social media, adding: “This is shameful and damaging. Scotland’s social care sector needs an immigration policy fit for our needs.

“Treating international colleagues in this manner is contemptible, saying ‘Come and work for us but don’t make this your home!’”

Source: https://www.thenational.scot/news/24131296.new-uk-visa-rules-overseas-care-workers-mean/

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