Thousands of migrant care workers believed to be abusing UK visa rules | Politics | News

February 19, 2024
15 Views


An immigration official has revealed a quarter of foreign care workers are reportedly abusing UK visa rules by illegally working in other industires.

The chief inspector of borders and immigration, David Neal, has released a series of shocking findings from his inspection into the Home Office’s handling of the social care visa route since it was introduced in 2022. The visa was designed to plug a labour shortage in the care sector.

However, Neal says he found the Home Office had issued 275 visas to a care home that did not exist. And another 1,234 were given to a company that stated it only had four workers when it was given its licence to operate.

This means over 1,500 migrants from two instances alone were allowed to move to the UK under the guise of having a job in care, reports The Times.

Neal is understood to have issued a report to the Home Office earlier this month. However it is said to be one of 13 waiting to be released.

While the reports are independent, the decision on whether or not to publish them rests with the Home Office.

Neal was appointed in 2021 but will leave his role next month after Downing Street stepped in to block his reappointment. The decision breaks a convention set by his predecessors who were all given two three-year terms.

The Times sources say a successor is unlikely to be appointed in the next six to nine months, meaning there will be no independent oversight for the implementation of the Rwanda plan.

Rishi Sunak has said he plans to start flights to Rwanda this spring should the bill pass through its remaining stages in parliament, which is expected to take place by March 26 – after Neal will have left his role.

Neal told The Times: “It’s scandalous that such a critical position at a time of such importance for the country is being left vacant, while the government is expected to implement one of the most controversial immigration policies of this era with the Rwanda policy.”

As part of his inspection, Neal said his team encountered migrants with care visas working in other fields. This he says was a feature in two out of eight enforcement checks between August and October 2023.

Neal says this is representative of the portion of migrants on care visas working in other fields in the UK. This would mean around 25,000 of the 101,316 people granted a social care visa in the year up to September 2023 were working in other sectors.

Part of the conditions of a care visa is that an individual is allowed to work an additional 20 hours in a non-care job if it is on the shortage occupation list.

Neal said his Home Office inspection found its management of the social care visa system had “echoes of previous inspections”, which highlighted the consequences of its failure to accurately forecast things, such as small boat arrivals.

This means the number of migrants and employers taking advantage of the rules being relaxed is said to be far higher than forecast. Around 123,000 foreign care workers were granted social visas in the first 18 months, bringing an additional 145,000 family members.

Changes designed to fill 150,000 vacancies in the care sector allowed homes to recruit from abroad while offering salaries of as little as £20,960 or £10.75 an hour – 33p an hour above minimum wage for over 23s.

Neal claims the original decision to use the already existing skilled worker route for foreign care workers was “wholly inappropriate” because it was ripe for abuse due to the salaries offered in the sector.

The inspector also claimed the Home Office has one compliance officer for every 1,600 employers licensed to sponsor migrants.

The department has however announced a restriction on the care route after uptake appeared higher than expected. From March 11, care workers will be unable to bring family members and only firms registered with the Care Quality Commission will be able to apply to sponsor visas.

A Home Office spokesman said: “Care workers make a vital contribution to society, but immigration is not the long-term answer to our social care needs.



Spread the love

You may be interested

Renée Fleming talks new book “Music and Mind”
Health
shares1 views
Health
shares1 views

Renée Fleming talks new book “Music and Mind”

Rajendran Achuthan - Apr 24, 2024

[ad_1] Renée Fleming talks new book "Music and Mind" - CBS News Watch CBS News Renée Fleming is a five-time…

Senate passes Ukraine aid, Israel funding and path to TikTok ban, sending bill to Biden’s desk
World
shares6 views
World
shares6 views

Senate passes Ukraine aid, Israel funding and path to TikTok ban, sending bill to Biden’s desk

Rajendran Achuthan - Apr 24, 2024

[ad_1] WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a $95 billion package to provide critical aid to Ukraine and…

FBI director warns of TikTok’s danger
Business
shares7 views
Business
shares7 views

FBI director warns of TikTok’s danger

Rajendran Achuthan - Apr 24, 2024

[ad_1] IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.Heartbreak and hope as Gaza…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.