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December 10, 2021BY World Consultant

Written by Arta Desku

A total of 146,477 health and care permits were granted by the United Kingdom’s authorities in 2023, marking a new record. When including dependents, the total number increased significantly, reaching 349,929.

Based on the UK’s Government statistics, 2023 figures are up from 157,636 registered in 2022 and 63,291 in 2021, VisaGuide.World reports.

In addition, the Government also revealed that the number of people living in the UK on a work visa was also at an 18-year high, with a total of 600,000 issued in 2023.

According to the Home Office, the surge was largely driven by care workers as well as home carers. As explained by the Home Office, home carers and senior care workers accounted for 105,881 main applications granted.

Besides, in the care workers and home carers category, the number of visas issued to main applicants was more than four times higher in 2023 compared to 2022, at a total of 89,236, up from 19,864.

We can clearly see a rapidly growing population of vulnerable migrant workers in a sector which has already been identified as low-pay, low protection, and high-risk.

Dr. Dora-Olivia Vicol, CEO of the Work Rights Centre

Indians Accounted for Highest Number of Work Visas Granted in UK

The figures from the Home Office revealed that Indian nationals benefited the most from the UK’s work visas issued in 2023, with a total of 18,664 visas granted, followed by nationals from Nigeria (18,143 and Zimbabwe (15,279). Nationals from the three countries mentioned above accounted for almost six in ten occupations last year.

According to the Home Office statistics, nationals of India accounted for more than 51 percent of visa grants for nurses (11,322) and just under a third (32 percent) of senior care worker visas (5,301), according to the department.

The number of people admitted to the UK under a work visa last year was 616,271, or up by 46 percent from 21,565 registered in 2022 and the highest number of any 12-month period since comparable records started in 2005.

Of the 616,371 people admitted through this route, just over half, or 337,240 or 55 percent, were main applicants, while under half, or 279,131 or 45 percent, were dependants.

At the same time, in 2022, main applicants accounted for more than 63 percent of the total arriving under a work visa, while dependants accounted for 37 percent.

New Immigration Rules

As part of efforts to curb immigration levels, authorities in the UK previously proposed applying new changes to immigration rules.

Following the new rules, from March 11, foreign health and care workers will be banned from bringing their loved ones to the UK.

In addition, starting from April, wage thresholds will also increase from £18,600 to £29,000.

Authorities in the UK announced the exclusion of Health and Social Care Visa Workers from the minimum salary increase; however, they removed the opportunity for these persons to bring their dependents to Britain.