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Surge in Skilled Worker Visas in 2023

In a world where global talent is in high demand, the United Kingdom has emerged as a hotspot for skilled professionals seeking new opportunities. The latest statistics reveal a significant surge in 'Skilled Worker' visa grants, showcasing the country's appeal to individuals with expertise across various sectors. Moreover, the striking increase in 'Skilled Worker – Health and Care' visas underlines the nation's commitment to bolstering its healthcare workforce. Let's delve into these remarkable statistics and understand what they mean for both the UK and its prospective skilled migrants.

Health and Care' Visas Skyrocket by 157%:

Infographic showing the increase in health and care work visas from 47,194 in 2022 to 121,290 in 2023
Infographic showing the increase in health and care work visas from 47,194 in 2022 to 121,290 in 2023

Infographic showing the increase in health and care work visas 157% increase between 2022 and 2023

One of the most noteworthy revelations from the latest statistics is the unprecedented increase in 'Skilled Worker – Health and Care' visa grants. The numbers have surged by an astounding 157%, reaching a total of approximately 120,000. This surge signifies the UK's dedication to fortifying its healthcare system by welcoming medical professionals and caregivers from various corners of the world.

A 34% Boost in Skilled Worker Visa Grants:

Infographic showing the increase in skilled worker visas from 51,811 in 2022 to 69,421 in 2023
Infographic showing the increase in skilled worker visas from 51,811 in 2022 to 69,421 in 2023

Infographic showing the increase in skilled worker visas 157% increase between 2022 and 2023

The year 2023 has witnessed a remarkable growth of 34% in the number of 'Skilled Worker' visa grants, with the figure soaring to an impressive 69,000. This surge is a testament to the UK's evolving immigration policies and its focus on attracting top-tier talents from around the globe. The 'Skilled Worker' visa category provides a platform for professionals to contribute their skills to the UK's diverse economy while advancing their careers.

Table showing the year on year comparison:

Visa Type

Year Ending

June 2022

Year Ending June 2023




Skilled Worker



+ 17,610

+ 34%

Health and Care Worker




+ 257%

Factors Driving the Surge:

Several factors contribute to the notable rise in both 'Skilled Worker' and 'Skilled Worker – Health and Care' visas. These include:

  1. Revised Immigration Policies: The UK's shift towards a points-based immigration system has made it more accessible for skilled workers to secure visas. This system assesses applicants based on their skills, qualifications, and job offers, enabling a more streamlined process.

  2. High Demand in Health and Care: The ongoing global health challenges have highlighted the critical need for healthcare professionals. The significant increase in 'Skilled Worker – Health and Care' visas reflects the UK's commitment to addressing the shortage of medical staff and caregivers.

  3. Post-Brexit Opportunities: With the UK's departure from the European Union, there's a renewed emphasis on attracting talent from a broader range of countries. This has opened up new avenues for skilled individuals worldwide to consider the UK as a viable destination.

  4. 6 fold increase in Care worker visas:

Impact on the UK and Beyond:

The surge in skilled worker visas brings forth several positive impacts:

  1. Economic Growth: Skilled professionals contribute to innovation and economic growth. Their expertise enhances various sectors, from technology to healthcare, thereby bolstering the UK's overall economic landscape.

  2. Enhanced Healthcare System: The influx of healthcare workers under the 'Skilled Worker – Health and Care' category is a lifeline for the UK's health system. It strengthens the nation's ability to provide quality medical services to its residents.

The latest UK visa statistics paint a promising picture of the nation's commitment to welcoming skilled professionals from around the world. The substantial rise in both 'Skilled Worker' and 'Skilled Worker – Health and Care' visas underscores the UK's desire to tap into global talent while addressing critical workforce shortages. As the numbers continue to soar, the UK's position as a preferred destination for skilled migrants is poised to strengthen, creating a win-win situation for both the nation and its incoming talents.

Rethink of Care Work Visas

The surge in the number of care worker visas being issued has sparked a growing call for a comprehensive reconsideration of the visa issuance process within the health and care scheme. Recent data reveals a remarkable shift, with care worker visas accounting for a staggering two-thirds of the total visas granted under the health and care category. This disproportionate increase has triggered discussions about the underlying factors driving this trend and the potential implications it holds for the broader health and care sector.

Over the year leading up to June 2023, an astonishing 77,700 long-term work visas were awarded to care workers, marking an exponential six-fold rise from the 12,300 visas granted in the preceding year. This substantial growth is strikingly evident as care worker visas constitute around 67% of the total 120,291 health and care work visas issued during this period. Such a dramatic surge prompts concerns over the distribution of visas across various subcategories within the health and care sector, with implications for the availability of visas for other critical roles. As stakeholders contemplate the implications of this shift, a broader conversation emerges about the balance between addressing workforce shortages and ensuring diversity and effectiveness across all facets of the healthcare system.

It will be interesting to see how the proposed increase in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) and visa application fees will impact the visa numbers.


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