World & Africa

UK Grants 20,000 COS Work Visas to Zimbabwean Health and Care Workers

The United Kingdom has disclosed that it issued a remarkable 20,000 work visas to Zimbabwean migrants in the health and care sector as of June this year. This substantial figure indicates a staggering 372% increase from 2022 and underscores the prevalent pattern of Zimbabweans seeking improved prospects overseas.

The UK government’s national statistics report titled “Why do people come to the UK? To work” reveals that a total of 20,152 health and care worker visas were extended to Zimbabweans in the year ending June 2023. This figure signifies a significant upswing from the 4,270 visas granted in June 2020.

Zimbabwe ranks third among the countries granted health and care worker visas, with India leading the list at 33,669 visas and Nigeria in second place with 22,278 visas.

The report emphasizes that long-term immigration through work-related visas constituted 33% of non-EU long-term immigration in the year ending June 2023, totaling an estimated 322,000 arrivals. This represents a notable increase from the 198,000 arrivals recorded in the preceding year. The majority of these arrivals were divided between main applicants (169,000) and dependants (154,000).

The UK government attributes the surge in long-term sponsored work visas to the introduction of the “Skilled Worker” and “Skilled Worker — Health and Care” visas in 2020. It notes that health and care work visas were particularly sought after among the various available work visas.

Furthermore, the report unveils that a considerable portion of the worker visas granted to Zimbabwean immigrants went to individuals bringing in family members. Indian nationals constituted 38% of all dependants issued a work visa alongside main applicants, followed by Nigerian and Zimbabwean nationals at 17% and 9%, respectively.

The UK Office of National Statistics reports a 99% increase in the number of grants issued to dependants of work visa recipients in the year ending June 2023 compared to the previous year.

The data indicates that those initially arriving long-term on work-related visas comprised 22% of non-EU long-term emigration as of June 2023, with approximately 45,000 individuals leaving the UK.

These statistics highlight a substantial rise in net migration for work reasons, with the number increasing from 168,000 in the year ending June 2022 to 278,000 in the year ending June 2023. This represents a larger proportion of net migration attributed to work in the latter period, accounting for 36% compared to 23% in the previous year.

The issuance of work visas to Zimbabwean health and care workers reflects the ongoing global demand for skilled professionals in the sector and mirrors the aspirations of Zimbabweans seeking enhanced opportunities and a better quality of life abroad.


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