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Immigration system and social care

New points-based immigration system§

On 13 July 2020, the government set out further details on the UK’s points-based system. These new arrangements will take effect from 1 January 2021, once freedom of movement with the European Union (EU) has ended.

It will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy. Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now.

Care providers that are not already a licensed sponsor and think they will want to sponsor migrants through the skilled worker route from January 2021, they should apply now to become a licensed sponsor.

Care staff and providers should familiarise themselves with the following government resources. They may also wish to sign up for Government email alerts to get updates on the new immigration system:

Government launches Health and Care Visa – 14 July 2020 – GOV.UK

Government has launched a Health and Care Visit programme. According to the Government press release: “The new Health and Care Visa will apply to eligible roles within the health and care sector. The events of recent months have illustrated just what a crucial role the care sector plays in UK society. The government is working closely with the sector to support and recognise the contributions of care workers. This includes a widespread focus on training and introducing a proper career structure to provide opportunities for those in the sector and makes it an attractive profession for prospective carers. The independent Migration Advisory Committee has been very clear that immigration is not the answer to the challenges in the social care sector and, as we implement the new immigration system, we want employers to focus on investing in our domestic workforce.”

As part of the launch of the Health and Care Visa, those who apply via the visa and their dependants will be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Useful links on visas and immigration§