The Home Office accepts recommendations for improvements to the immigration system in the social care sector.

The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) recently conducted an inspection of the immigration system in relation to the social care sector. The report sheds light on various aspects of the system, including sponsor licensing, compliance, and engagement with relevant organisations. Here are the key findings and five recommendations.

Effectiveness Concerns

The inspection raised significant concerns about the effectiveness of the immigration system. Instances of fraudulent visa applications were identified, and there were worries about modern slavery risks for sponsored workers.

Recommendation one calls for a review of the visa route. The existing Skilled Worker route was deemed inadequate, and the report suggests using or expanding the Shortage Occupation List (now called the Immigration Salary List) and reforming the current visa route.

Recommendation two proposes a collaborative review of the sponsor licensing application process to learn from poor licensing decisions and the resulting problems to inform future decision making.

Improving Compliance Processes

Recommendation three focuses on enhancing compliance. A review of headcount, performance targets and processes across compliance areas is recommended to ensure that blockages in one area do not impact the overall capability of the compliance function.

Multi-Agency Collaboration

Recommendation four emphasises multi-agency working. The ICIBI suggests developing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with enforcement and regulatory partners. The MOU would define responsibilities, shared goals, and intelligence-sharing mechanisms related to the care sector.

Guidance for Applicants

Recommendation five aims to provide better guidance for applicants. The proposal includes a concise “migrant’s guide to UK employment rights.” This guide would offer contact details for advice and reporting safeguarding concerns to relevant care sector partners.

Home Office Response

The Home Office accepted all five recommendations. They clarified that some improvements were already underway before receiving the report and emphasised that there was now better training and more consistent processes required of staff involved in compliance activities.

In summary, the ICIBI’s inspection highlights critical areas for improvement in the immigration system related to social care. The recommendations aim to enhance efficiency, compliance, and collaboration while ensuring better support for applicants and safeguarding measures. 

The Home Office’s expected implementation date is July 2024.

An inspection of the immigration system as it relates to the social care sector (August 2023 to November 2023) - GOV.UK (

The Home Office’s response can be found here.

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