In January 2023, the average processing time for a Sponsor Licence application is over 10 weeks, with many applications taking much longer than this. The UKVI are still receiving large volumes of applications – nearly 23,000 in the last year! Employers can speed up the process by using the optional Home Office Priority service and ensuring they get their application right first time
From 15 February 2022, for a period of 12 months, UK care providers will now be able to sponsor work visas for all care worker roles. It has previously only been possible to sponsor senior care workers, so this is a significant and positive change for many UK care homes and domiciliary care agencies struggling to recruit from the domestic workforce.
From 2022, citizens of India and Iceland will be eligible for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa for the UK. This working holidaymaker visa allows 18-30 year olds to live and work in the UK for two years. There will be a strict limit on numbers – only 1,000 visas per year for Icelandic citizens and 3,000 visas per year for Indian citizens who also need to meet an additional qualification or experience requirement.
A number of health, science and teaching roles have been added to the Shortage Occupation List and Chefs have been removed. Particularly good news for employers of lab technicians and senior care workers
From July 2021, UK graduates will be able to get a 2 year visa (3 years for PhD graduates) allowing them to work freely in the UK. This will be welcome news for students who no longer need to find an employer willing to sponsor them before they graduate