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Health and care worker visa applications down 76% this year | Politics News

There has been a sharp fall in the number of overseas health and care workers applying for visas in the first few months of this year compared with the year before.

Just 12,400 people applied for the Health and Care Worker visa from January to April this year, according to the latest statistics published by the government on Wednesday.

During the same period last year, 50,900 applications were made – 76% more than this year.

The dramatic drop in applications comes after visa rules changed so the minimum salary required increased from £26,000 to £38,700.

Social care workers are now also no longer able to bring any dependents on their visa.

An NHS nurse has to have five to six years of experience and be in Band 6 to earn more than the new minimum.

But NHS guidance suggests qualified overseas nurses are placed into Band 5 and, although they can move immediately into higher bandings by applying for roles, anecdotal evidence suggests even very experienced overseas nurses are placed in Band 5, despite that being the newly qualified level.

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