Immigration Rules Changes 19 February 2024: Care Workers & Ukraine Visa Schemes

Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules 19 feb 2024


The Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules HC 556 was published by the Home Office today, 19 February 2024, focusing primarily on care workers and the Ukraine visa schemes.


Changes affecting care workers & care providers

Following publication of its Five-Point Immigration Plan in December 2023, the Home Office has confirmed that the proposed changes affecting the health & social care sector will take effect from 11 March 2024:


New CQC registration requirement

care providers in England applying to sponsor migrant workers will first need to be registered with the industry regulator, the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

This requirement will not apply retrospectively, and care providers that currently sponsor care workers but that are not currently registered with the CQC will not be required to secure registration, unless or until they wish to sponsor new care workers from 11 March 2024.

Care workers sponsored by providers that are not CQC registered will also be able to extend their permission with the same sponsor, and settle, without the CQC regulation requirement applying to them.


Ban on care worker dependants

Under the new rules, sponsored care workers (in SOC codes 6145 or 6146) applying for a Health & Care Worker visa on or after 11 March 2024 will be ineligible to be accompanied by their partner and children (aged under 18) as dependants.

Care workers who are already sponsored in the UK, or who submit their visa application before 11 March 2024, will remain eligible to be accompanied by their dependants, including in cases where they are extending their status or applying for settlement with a sponsor that is not CQC-registered or where they are changing jobs to another sponsor, which must be CQC-registered.


Changes affecting Ukrainian visa schemes

The UK’s three existing Ukraine visa schemes are effectively being rationalised and extended.

A new Ukraine Permission Extension Scheme (UPE) is being launched to enable Ukrainians to apply for a further 18 months’ permission to stay in the UK on expiry of their current visa.

Applications for the existing the Ukraine Family Scheme (UFS) closed on 19 February 2024. Existing applicants are unaffected.

The Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (HFU) is also being amended to become the single route for all Ukrainians seeking to come to the UK. New visas issued under the route will be reduced from the current 3 years of leave to only 18 months.

Several grounds for refusal under the Immigration Rules that had previously been omitted for Ukrainians will also now be applied.

Children born in the UK after 18 March 2022 to individuals with permission under the Ukraine Scheme (including the now-closed Family Scheme) are now eligible to apply for the Ukraine Extension Scheme beyond its closure date.

Last updated: 19 February 2024


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

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Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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