The Home Office is responsible for managing the work visa system. It must balance government objectives of controlling net migration with attracting people to the UK to help address skill shortages and boost the economy.

We last examined work visas in Immigration: the Points Based System – Work Routes (2011), when we looked at how the Home Office managed the points based system for non-EU workers.

Our report will look at the Home Office’s approach to managing the skilled worker route, focusing on the changes made since January 2021. We will examine the Home Office’s approach to processing applications and how it takes action to ensure compliance with visa requirements. We will also look at the extent to which the system is achieving its intended objectives. This will include ‘deep dive’ case studies into specific sectors – including the health and social care sector – to assess the Home Office’s approach.


Our report will focus on:

  • whether the Home Office has an effective approach to adjusting the skilled worker visa system
  • whether the Home Office is effectively monitoring and managing how the work visa system is performing
  • how the Home Office learns from experience to improve the work visa system

NAO team

Director: Oliver Lodge
Audit Manager: Richard Baynham