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Senior Carers to be given reprieve | Immigration Matters

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The Government will shortly make a dramatic announcement on the future of the estimated 25,000 Senior Carers working in the UK Care Industry, according to an article in the ‘Philippine Inquirer’ yesterday.

Several industry sources have revealed that the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) is about to reverse it’s decision to refuse all Work Permit applications for Senior Carers. New guidelines are widely expected this week.

The Inquirer names Emmanuel Geslani, a recruitment industry consultant, as their source. Mr Geslani claims that the news of the Government’s reprieve was leaked to him by Martin Green, Chief Executive of the English Community Care Association (ECCA), although we have not received confirmation from the ECCA.

See ECCA Press Release.

The story goes on to say that employers will have to pay a higher salary of £14600, or £7.02 per hour, to their Senior Carers in order to extend Work Permits.

New applications from out of country candidates will be considered on a “case by case” basis.

The BIA has not yet published any new guidelines, but if the reports are confirmed, it will bring relief thousands of migrant workers and their families facing the threat of deportation.

As reported by Immigration Matters as far back as February 2007, the BIA (Home Office) had stopped issuing Senior Carer Work Permits, even for those applying to renew existing permits issued under the same unchanged guidelines.

Immigration Matters started the campaign to Save Our Senior Carers, with support from Unison, Balita Pinoy, The Philippine Embassy, The Alliance and many other groups all over the country.

Hundreds of migrant workers, as well as their employers, have lobbied their MP’s for fair treatment and over 1700 people have signed our on line petition to the Prime Minister. See http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/SaveCarers/

The fight is not over yet

Until we receive confirmation from Immigration Minister Liam Byrne that Senior Carer Work Permits will be renewed the fight must go on, so keep lobbying your MP’s and writing those letters.

Liam Byrne, previously a Minister in the Department of Health, is well aware of the impact that deporting up to 20,000 Senior Carers would have on the Care industry.

But, Work Permit renewals and Leave to Remain applications continue to be refused by the Home Office every day, and hundreds of migrants have been issued with Removal Notices.

Last Friday a Home Office Case Worker told Immigration Adviser Cynthia Barker, of Bison UK, not to bother asking for a further review of a refused case as: “I will refuse it again”.

Cynthia was outraged that a Home Office employee could act a “Judge and Jury” over a case which is supposed to receive a fair review.

A question mark still remains over the fate of the many hundreds of migrants refused Work Permits over the last six months, many of whom have already been sent home. Will they be given the opportunity to reapply for their Work Permits and resume their careers in the UK?

Nursing and Care Homes have also suffered severe disruption as a result of the BIA’s deportations. Mr Frank Ursell, CEO of the Registered Nursing Home Association (RHNA) told me that employers and patients also suffer when key workers are removed from a Nursing Home.

Mr Ursell, who sits on the Home Office Care Sector Panel, said:

“It is unfortunate for those people – employers, workers and patients – caught up in this, especially individual carers who have had to go back home”.

We await an announcement from Mr Byrne.

Migrants are facing uncertain times in Britain and now, more than ever, you should seek advice from an OISC registered Immigration Adviser.

In the meantime, if you are affected by the Senior Carer Work Permit crisis and need urgent immigration advice or have any questions please email Charles Kelly

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk.

For all the latest Immigration news see

www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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