The Home Office has issued a new Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC 556 on 19 February 2024. The Statement makes a number of anticipated changes to the rights of care workers to bring dependents to the UK through the Health and Care Worker route, as well as changes to the various Ukraine schemes – including the closure of the Ukraine family scheme.

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Below, I will highlight some of the key changes.


Care worker


Dependents of care workers will no longer be able to apply to join the main applicant in the UK from 11th March 2024. This applies in all cases where the main applicant has leave in either Standard Occupational Code (SOC) codes 6145 (Care worker) or 6146 (Senior care worker). The change will not affect those who are currently on a dependent visa, have children born in the UK or have applied for entry clearance before 11 March 2024.


All employers sponsoring care workers must have Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration from 10th March 2024. This means that an applicant applying for a skilled worker visa as a care worker must ensure that their employer has the above registration otherwise the visa will be refused.


The above has been introduced by making amendments to Appendix Skilled Worker, Appendix Skilled Occupations and Appendix Shortage Occupation List of the Immigration Rules. They come into force for applications submitted on and after 11 March 2024.


The Explanatory Memorandum states that the changes are being made ‘in response to high levels of non-compliance and worker exploitation and abuse, as well as unsustainable levels of demand’.


There have also been changes to the Ukraine scheme with the immediate closure of the Ukraine family scheme.


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