Thursday, June 14, 2018

UK Government To Change Visa Rules For Doctors And Nurses

The British government are set to relax immigration rules to allow more doctors and nurses from outside the EU to work in the UK.

Amid staff shortages in the NHS, the Home Office said foreign medics would be excluded from the government's visa cap on skilled migration.

The visa or work permit cap imposes an overall limit for all non-EU skilled workers at 20,700 a year.
It was introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary in a bid to reduce net migration to the UK, but the NHS has recently complained that it has made it harder to fill job vacancies for doctors and nurses.

Prime Minister and former Home Secretary Theresa May MP

Tier 2 visas are a form of work permit for employers to hire skilled workers to the UK from outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Since 2011, there has been a cap on the total number of these visas that can be issued, which had not been reached until December 2017.

The government change is due to increased demand for NHS workers, the largest employer in the UK, which account for 40% of all Tier 2 visas.

This week, the Financial Times reported that 2,360 visa applications by doctors from outside the European Economic Area were refused in a five-month period.

According to the BBC, NHS bosses have warned that immigration rules were hampering their ability to find workers after visas for 100 Indian doctors were refused earlier this year. However, it seems odd that the NHS would apply for 100 working visas without first checking on the availability of visas.

NHS England report that there were 35,000 nurse vacancies and 10,000 doctor posts unfilled in February.

Strict IELTS language tests and the perceived lack of settlement opportunities may deter nurses from countries like the Philippines choosing the UK over Australia, Canada and the U.S.

The changes are expected to only apply to doctors and nurses - but the government could release hundreds of visas a month for workers in other industries like IT and teaching.

Recently appointed Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who has suggested a rethink of some parts of the government's immigration policy, said: "I recognise the pressures faced by the NHS and other sectors in recent months. Doctors and nurses play a vital role in society and at this time we need more in the UK. That is why I have reviewed our skilled worker visa route."

Full details of the UK immigration rule changes are to be set out on Friday.

Podcast Version

Listen to  podacst, "UK To Relax Visa Rules For Nurse’s And Doctors" by Charles Kelly

See also:

Listen to my podcast "More Millionaires And Investors Than Ever" by Charles Kelly

Listen to "3 Marketing Tips To Build Your Social Media Audience " by Charles Kelly

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