The government is considering closing the temporary visa system for carers as immigration to the UK surges. The move follows calls by the New Conservative Party, supported by former Home Secretary Suella Braverman and former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to reduce net immigration by ending these visa programs.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of medical and care worker visas issued in the year to September 2023 was 143,990, more than double the previous year (61,274). Her three nationalities are Indian, Nigerian and Zimbabwean, who were granted the most of these visas.
Nigeria recorded the largest increase, followed by Zimbabwe and India. The increase in the migration of healthcare workers to the UK is due to favorable migration conditions and the urgent need for healthcare workers in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent months, the influx of migrants has put a huge strain on accommodation and amenities, raising concerns among Britons.
In a recent interview, British Chancellor Rishi Sunak admitted that net immigration rates are too high.
This opinion was echoed by senior ministers who deemed last year’s record numbers of arrivals unacceptable. Net migration to the UK will reach 745,000 people in 2022, triple the pre-Brexit level, according to revised estimates from the Office for National Statistics.
Additionally, the National Health Service Trust expressed its struggle to maintain welfare provision for workers on visas and highlighted the need for sustainable solutions.
As the UK grapples with the challenge of rising immigration, the Government is considering the possibility of scrapping the temporary visa system for carers.
It aims to strike a balance between controlling immigration levels and meeting the country’s health needs, while ensuring the sustainability of social security services.