Care worker visa applications plummet under new laws
A nurse rests her hand on a patient's old hand.

The number of skilled workers arriving in the UK has fallen by a quarter in six months due to the government’s visa crackdown, new research has found.

Data from the Home Office has revealed an 83 per cent decline in the number of visas granted to health and care workers in March, from 14,300 in 2023 to 2,400 this year.

The report also shows that 41,600 health and care visas were granted in August last year. This was the highest month shown by the new data.

Head of care at union UNISON said: “The staffing crisis in care was already bad, but the government has just made things a whole lot worse.

“Ministers have made it clear migrant care workers aren’t welcome. This is the stark result. No one could blame overseas staff for taking their skills to countries where they’ll be more welcome.

“The figures were plummeting even before new rules kicked in to make it tougher to get a visa. The situation is now likely to become even more dire for a sector wholly reliant on its overseas workforce to fill the vacancy chasm.

“Unless the government gets a grip soon, reforms care and boosts wages for its highly skilled workforce, the situation will soon become catastrophic.”