UK Migration Restrictions Lead to Sharp Decline in Care Worker Visa Applications

United Kingdom
#healthcare #decline

The most recent data show a shocking 76% drop in foreign health and care workers applying for UK work visas. This substantial decline occurred in the first four months of this year compared to the same period in 2023, demonstrating a significant impact on the UK's migration limits.

Impact of Policy Changes

The numbers reflect a bleak reality: only 12,400 health and care worker visa applications were made between January and April 2024, a significant decrease from the 50,900 applications received in the same months the previous year.

This fall is reflected in a 6% decrease in the number of dependents mentioned in these applications, indicating a more significant trend in the sector.

This drop is not singular but rather reflects larger policy adjustments adopted by the Home Office earlier this year. Harsh new rules were imposed on international care workers to curb legal migration to Britain.

One important change was a prohibition on foreign caretakers bringing their loved ones to the UK, which went into force on March 11. Additionally, pay criteria were raised to £29,000, up from £18,600 in April. These policy changes were meant to reduce migration and facilitate the entry of skilled workers into the country.

Political and Sectoral Responses

The numbers reflect a bleak reality: only 12,400 health and care worker visa applications were made between January and April 2024, a significant decrease from the 50,900 applications received in the same months the previous year.

This fall is reflected in a 6% decrease in the number of dependents mentioned in these applications, indicating a larger trend in the sector.

However, the government argues that these regulations are part of a larger effort to reduce legal migration, and Home Secretary James Cleverly is confident in their success. Cleverly praised the latest provisional figures from the Home Office, which showed a decrease in care worker visa applications and a significant increase in skilled worker visa applications.

The statistics reveal a 50% increase in skilled worker visa applications during the same period, indicating a shift in migration patterns.

This is a considerable increase, with 29,200 main applications for skilled worker visas in the first four months of 2024, up from 20,700 in the same period in 2023. The number of dependents listed in these applications also increased by 62 per cent, from 16,200 to 26,300.

This movement reflects a shifting environment in the sorts of visas requested, with a clear preference for skilled worker visas over health and care workers. However, the full impact of these policy changes and their consequences for sectors such as healthcare and social care may only become apparent in the coming months as the situation develops.


What is the current trend among skilled worker visa applications?

Skilled worker visa applications increased by 50 percent in the first four months of 2024, showing a shift in migration patterns favouring skilled workers.

Are there any other industries seeing changes in visa applications?

Yes, there have been substantial shifts in visa applications for skilled workers and sponsored student study visas, with some categories increasing while others decreasing.


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