Tips on recruiting foreign care workers and applying for UK visas – News

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New rules that came into force on 16 February this year mean care home and home care providers can now employ care workers from overseas through the visa sponsorship process.

For a temporary period of 12 months, care workers have been added to the UK’s Shortage Occupation List and are eligible for Health and Care visas.
The visa makes them exempt from the Immigration Health surcharge and their employer needs to hold a valid sponsorship licence.
Yash Dubal, director of visa specialist A Y & J Solicitors has expressed concern over the temporary nature of the ruling.
He said: “Some employers may not be comfortable with changing their business model to pursue recruitment of overseas care workers, only for this source of staffing to be lost in a year’s time if the change is reversed.”
How to apply for a sponsor licence
Until now, under the UK’s points-based immigration system, only overseas workers classified as senior carers and care managers could be sponsored and recruited by UK care providers.
However workforce shortages meant the government has now added additional care roles with SOC code 6145 to the list covering roles such as care assistants, care workers, carers, home care assistants, home carers and support workers.
It takes around two months for a business to get a sponsor licence. Once the licence is granted and a job offer is made, the employee must then apply for a visa, a process that takes between one and two months.
Mr Dubal, director of visa specialist A Y & J Solicitors said: “Care workers will probably be considered ‘high risk’ applicants, which means that the Home Office may take significantly longer than the normal service standards to grant many of those visas.
“The lack of visibility on timeframes for approvals and the uncertainty as to whether care workers will stay on the shortage occupation list for more than 12 months may make some care homes proceed with caution.
“Although many which already hold sponsor licences – and those who already have the infrastructure for sponsorship, are likely to be keen to press ahead with sponsorship.”
Mr Dubal reveals that to apply for a sponsor licence, “the business needs to demonstrate that they are a genuine care home, with a senior member of staff willing to take responsibility for the licence”.
Care workers cannot be sponsored by private households or individuals.
“They also need HR systems in place to monitor sponsored staff and ensure that the workers are doing the role they have been sponsored for.
“Once the care home has a sponsor licence, they can then proceed to assign a certificate of sponsorship which is a virtual document that confirms the job offer and candidate’s details.”
To apply for a licence you will need to pay a fee. This will be £536 for small businesses and charities or £1,476 for medium and large organisations.
How to apply for a Health and Care Worker visa
“The final step is for the person who has received the job offer to make a visa application. This visa will allow the person to work for the care home.”
He adds that while sponsored care workers will not need higher education qualifications, they will still need to speak, understand, read and write English to a minimum level.
Overseas care workers can stay and work in the UK with a Health and Care Worker visa for up to five years.
The Health and Care Worker visa costs £247 for up to three years, while a visa for more than three years costs £479.
The care workers do not need to have certain academic qualifications, but they should have some experience of working in a care environment and be 18 years old.
To apply for the work visa, care workers need to meet a minimum annual salary requirement of £20,480.
They must be able to support themselves when they arrive in the UK and will need to show they have funds of £1,270, and have the money in their bank account for at least 28 days in a row, and day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for the visa.
Alternatively, the care worker must have confirmation from their employer that they will cover their costs during their first month.
The care worker will also need a criminal record certificate from their country of residence and may also need tuberculosis test results if they are from a listed country.
English language requirements
Unless the foreign care worker is from a country where English is spoken by the majority of people there, they will have to prove they can speak, understand, read and write English to level B1 on the CEFR scale (Common European Framework of Reference for Language scale).
They can prove they have the required knowledge of English by either:
• passing a SELT, or Secure English Language Test.
• obtaining a GCSE, A level, Scottish National Qualification (either level 4 or 5), Scottish Higher or Advanced Higher in English, gained through study at a UK school when aged under 18.
• having an academic degree-level qualification that was taught in English. If it was done abroad, they will need to apply through Ecctis (formerly UK NARIC) to show their qualification is equivalent to a UK bachelor’s or master’s degree, or a PhD.
If the care worker is a national from a majority English-speaking country, including Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA, then they will not have to show any proof.
Health and Care Worker visa applicants will be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge, which enables them to use the NHS and will also be able to get a faster decision, once their applications have been submitted.
If the application is successful, care workers can move to the UK with their dependants. However they must be able to show they can support them financially on arrival. They would need £285 for their partner, £315 for one child and £200 for each additional child, on top of their own maintenance funds.

Shakib Rahman
06 May 2022 10:06 AM
I’m from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I have been applying but all rejections. Which is highly disappointing. Last email I had received from Aldersey House. The recruiter/HR specifically mentioned “Home office regulations prevents them to provide employment or sponsorship to people who reside in Bangladesh”. I had got in touch with a legal consultant the information I received from him was that currently sponsorship for care visa are being under table sold for £Xyz and also people who are currently trying working at care home are taking advantage of it by taking commission from candidate and recommending them. It is utterly disappointing that I thought it was equal opportunity for everyone.

Sandra Mgbii
06 May 2022 5:59 AM
Can you please share links of care homes that offer sponsorships? Because the ones I have been applying for insists you reside in the UK. Thanks

Ogechukwu Ugbana
05 May 2022 11:42 PM
I am currently working as a carer in an Elderly Care home, and I have been applying to alot of care homes in the UK, but all I get is ‘unfortunate emails’. And currently a lot of them are demanding you should be residing in the UK before I can apply. It’s really frustrating.

Clinton Blakk
04 May 2022 10:53 PM
It is my passion and life to be a carer, and care tuition made me feel my dream come through, but after all the courses and certification, all the jobs I have applied for turn to be unsuccessful. So sad.

Clinton Blakk
04 May 2022 10:50 PM
I am a caregiver,and many applications have been unsuccessful because am not resident in the UK… Even having attended the care certification, UK. which was why I pressed to enroll for the caregiver jobs. Makes me feel as if care tuition was only a scam.

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