Thinking of hiring Senior Carers or Nurses from outside the UK?

The New Immigration Points-Based System introduced on the 1st January 2021 treats EU and non-EU citizens equally and transforms the way in which employers recruit from outside the UK. Free movement has ended, and the new points-based immigration system has salary and language requirements that change the way you recruit from outside the UK.

The recent Government U-turn to place senior carers on the shortage occupation list has meant there has been an increase in recruitment for that role within the care sector. The main reason for this is that the majority of overseas candidates are staff nurses within hospitals across Europe, Asia and Africa and have extensive work experience with a good standard of English.

The pay rate set by the Home Office for senior carers is £10.10 per hour for a 39-hour week, which equates to an annual salary of £20,482. This means that care providers are able to recruit high calibre nurses as senior carers. Moreover, the majority of overseas senior carers will have ambitions to complete their CBT and IELTS when they arrive in the UK and then the OSCE to become NMC pinned nurses.

However, you can only benefit from this change in the rules if you hold a Skilled Worker sponsor licence.

Given the significance of the changes from 1 January 2021, Aston Brooke has found that there has been an exponential increase in sponsor licence applications. Care providers must be proactive and take swift action to apply for a sponsor licence as soon as possible.

In order to apply for a sponsor licence you have to satisfy the following criteria:

  • You must be a genuine business operating legally in the UK
  • You must be able to offer employment skilled to at least RQF Level 3 (A level)
  • You must be able to meet your immigration compliance responsibilities
  • You must complete an online application form with supporting evidence

You must also submit mandatory documents with your licence application. In the care sector, the documents include company bank statements, office lease, PAYE reference numbers, employer’s liability insurance certificate, CQC certificate and certificate of incorporation for the company.

The processing times can vary but during the current pandemic, the Home Office have introduced a priority service for sponsor licence applications and Aston Brooke have been able to receive licences within as little as five days.

Many care providers already hold a sponsor licence and have been able to take advantage of the recent changes in the rules to recruit senior carers. However, it is crucial that existing sponsors review their corporate structures to determine whether individual licences are more beneficial as opposed to just one single licence.

If your business does not currently hold a sponsor licence then we strongly recommend that you act now and apply for a licence. The sponsor licence is valid for four years and will prove to be an invaluable asset for your recruitment needs. This is particularly relevant, as non-resident EU nationals who are entering the UK for the first time from the beginning of January 2021 will need sponsorship in order to work in the UK.

For any further queries or to make an application for a sponsor licence, please contact Mr Kashif Majeed on