- Extra government scrutiny on employers who hire visa-holding migrant care workers has made the recruitment process more expensive and difficult, care providers are reporting.
- Home Office officials are now asking employers to provide a much higher level of detail when applying for undefined Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS)
- This measure could restrict or limit the number of migrant care workers from Nigeria
More government scrutiny on employers who hire visa-holding migrant care workers has made the recruitment process more expensive and difficult for care providers.
Home Office officials are now asking employers to provide a much higher level of detail when applying for undefined Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS).
A CoS is an electronic record which a migrant uses to apply for a visa.
Undefined Certificates of Sponsorship are required by migrant work permit holders who are applying for jobs to the UK, typically switching jobs. The increased oversight is reportedly creating confusion for many operators, some of whom have relied on legal experts to help when their applications fail.
Certificate of sponsorship
In the past, care facilities and providers may ask for a certain number of undefined CoS, which might then be expanded if necessary. This gave them the freedom to quickly fill openings as and when they occurred.
The online application platform simply featured two fields: one for the number of undefined CoS needed and another for the justifications the certificates were needed. The Home Office just asked for a general idea of the employer’s ambitions.
Of recent, the Home Office has begun to ask for more specific information regarding the open positions and the applicants being sought after. CoS request submissions are being examined more carefully, and if insufficient information is given, officials will either pursue revisions or reject requests.
Several hiring managers have noted that the stricter compliance requirements are making the recruitment process longer and more complicated.
The issue has been brought to the attention of visa specialists which represents several clients in the care industry who rely on overseas workers.
What they said
Director of the Legal 500 firm, Yash Dubal, in his words said:
- “Previously our clients reported that the application process for undefined Certificates and Sponsorship was effortless, but now, it can be quite confusing, particularly for inexperienced staff and those that don’t have the resources to outsource are stuck trying to work it out themselves”.
- “ Increasingly applicants need knowledge of the immigration rules to explain why the request is viable in immigration terms and if they don’t provide credible reasons for the request, the application is rejected”.
- “It seems the Home Office is cracking down on spurious or ineligible CoS requests and while some employers are making successful requests with quick results others are missing the mark and getting rejections, leading to wasted time and extra expense if they then need to hand over to a legal expert.”
Officials have also stated that future undefined CoS allocations will be granted based on the previous years’ usage. This has also been criticised but may work favourably for care providers.
- “For a lot of employers who sponsor migrant workers this is nonsense as they do not sponsor the same number of people each year.
For care companies which regularly sponsor workers and those which have a high staff turnover, however, this might be a boon, as in effect their quota will be auto-renewed at the start of every year.”
What this means for Nigerians
For Nigerian migrant workers, this means that when undefined CoS request submissions are being scrutinised and insufficient information is provided, the application can be rejected leading to the inability to relocate to the United Kingdom on a Care work visa.
Applicants from Nigeria must ensure however, that the care homes being applied to, have already obtained their CoS or are capable of meeting all the requirements from the Home Office. In addition, more efforts must be made to study immigration rules more carefully.