Brightman Makoni: “The production and policing of new categories of migrants: Zimbabwean migrant families and the UK Health and Care Worker Visa Scheme”

In Students by General Account

In light of the shortage of care staff in the UK’s privatised care sector and the challenge in meeting the needs of older people, the  care sector – enabled by the state – regularly recruits migrant workforce through restrictive visa arrangements. This project will address the question of how the British state – through the private care sector – produces and regulates these specific categories of migrants through the Health and Care Worker visa via a qualitative study of Zimbabwean care workers and their families in the UK. Melding labour migration studies and studies of postcolonial governmentality, this project extends the focus on governmentality to the regulation of physical movements and access to the labour market of the formerly colonised within the territory of the former coloniser. Through its focus on the UK Health and Care Worker visa, the study will explore how the visa system shapes the manner in which Zimbabwean families interact with private care sector employers who play an integral part in the immigration policing regime and act as border-guards when checking on the legality of employees. The focus on families rather than individuals in this study aims to explore the role of work visa regulations in terms of their creation and management of migrant populations with distinct rights and restrictions. By focusing on the family unit as a site of regulation, the study brings a unique relational perspective in the production of governed populations in postcolonial societies to the context of the Health and Care Worker visa.