Significant Changes to Immigration Rules Affecting Care Workers in the UK - Surewise

Significant Changes to Immigration Rules Affecting Care Workers in the UK

Starting from 11 March 2024, there will be new stipulations for care providers in England regarding the sponsorship of care workers. 

Following the initial announcements in January, organisations must now be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in order to sponsor new care workers under the Skilled Worker route. In addition, care workers who are newly sponsored will no longer be permitted to have their family members join them in the UK.

These adjustments were announced on 19 February 2024 and are part of a broader set of reforms aimed at modifying UK immigration laws. The changes raise several concerns, including potential impacts on the care sector’s ability to attract international talent, the well-being of care workers who may face increased isolation, and the overall effectiveness of these new rules in addressing the sector’s challenges.

Key Points Summarised:

  • From the 11th March 2024, care workers and senior care workers will be unable to bring dependents when they migrate to the UK.
  • Sponsored care workers already in the UK can continue their employment in the UK and keep their dependent family members with them.
  • From April 2024, any applications to the Health and Care Visa route not on a pay scale will be required to meet a salary threshold of £29,000.
  • All Health and Care Visa holders will continue to be exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS).
  • Any individuals that are already in the Skilled Worker route before the immigration rules change should be exempt from the new salary thresholds when they change sponsor, extend, or settle, provided they aren’t moving to different occupations.

Care Workers Already In The UK

For care workers already in the UK or those who apply before the 11 March deadline, there are specific provisions. You can continue their employment and stay in the UK, have their dependent family members with them, extend their permission with their current sponsor even if you are not CQC registered, and apply for settlement in the UK under the same conditions.

However, these workers face restrictions if you wish to change employers. Your new sponsor must be registered with the CQC. Despite this, your dependent family members can remain in the UK.

For further details or inquiries about these changes, individuals and organisations are encouraged to consult with immigration experts.

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