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Changes to immigration rules: Making it easier to recruit Care staff from overseas

New roles have recently been added to the ‘Shortage Occupation List’

Senior care workers and nursing assistants are among roles that have been added to the Shortage Occupation List, which gives people in these roles an advantage in obtaining a skilled worker visa. Health service managers and directors, residential, day and domiciliary care managers and health professionals not elsewhere classified have also been added to the Shortage Occupation List.

As part of the points-based immigration system, people applying to come to the UK through the skilled worker route must reach 70 ‘points’ to be eligible for a work visa. A job on the Shortage Occupation List is worth 20 points. Combined with the mandatory criteria – having an acceptable standard of English, an offer from a licensed sponsor and the required skill level, which are worth 50 points – will ensure people in these roles reach the 70 points necessary.

Two points to remember:

  • Check if you or your staff are eligible to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa instead. It’s cheaper to apply for and you or your staff would not need to pay the annual immigration health surcharge
  • Also, any EEA citizen who has arrived in the UK before 31st December 2020, no matter what job role, or not even employed, can apply to receive a pre-settled status (granting them permission to live and work for 5 years in the UK) or full settled status (if they have 5 years in the UK/when they reach 5 years, they could get this which is permanent residency)

For more information on this, please check our full EU guide at You can also call our dedicated HCPA support line on 01707 707686, or email us at

Reference material:

» GOV.UK: Skilled Worker caseworker guidance [PDF]
» GOV.UK: Immigration rules
» GOV.UK: Skilled worker visa
» GOV.UK: Skilled worker visa: eligible occupations