Visas: Voluntary Work

Home Office written question – answered on 5th August 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the current Tier 5 Visa arrangements for non-EU citizens to be engaged as volunteers by registered sponsoring organisations for periods of up to a year will be extended to include EU citizens; and if not, what plans they have to put in place alternative arrangements to enable non-EU and EU citizens to volunteer in social care settings in the UK after 31 December.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

The current Tier 5 charity visa enables people from outside the EU to come to the UK to undertake unpaid charity work. Migrants on this route are also permitted to undertake a second job in the same sector at the same level as their main job for up to 20 hours per week. These arrangements will be extended to EEA citizens as part of the future points-based migration system.

We very much value the role many who have come to this country play in our healthcare sector, but we will not be introducing a general route for employers to seek cheaper labour from abroad, be those employees or volunteers.

The Migration Advisory Committee is clear that a solution to recruitment issues in social care cannot just be solved via the UK’s immigration system. Employers need to invest in technology, innovation and their existing workforce, focusing on making jobs more attractive for UK workers, not just looking to the migration system.

The Government is supporting the care sector in different ways, including through additional funding and launching a national recruitment campaign.

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