By Oshin Shahiean, of OTS Solicitors
Following much anticipation over the last few days from Immigration lawyers, healthcare professionals and all those interested in the state of the NHS, UK Visas and Immigration have today confirmed that doctors and nurses will indeed be excluded from the Tier 2 skilled worker cap.
Critical NHS roles can now be filled
The NHS has seen a deepening staffing crisis over the last few months. High levels of applications for sponsorship certificates have seen the cap on skilled workers of 20,700 outstripped by demand every month since December 2017. NHS Trusts, doctors and nurses have had to compete with other sectors looking to recruit from overseas when there are no suitably qualified candidates for roles within the settled workforce. The NHS accounts for around 40% of all the Tier 2
places. By taking doctors and nurses out of the Tier 2
cap, it will mean other sectors, such as the tech sector, will also benefit, although the cap will still apply. The move to open up the UK to doctors and nurses from overseas comes at the same time as 25% more training places have been announced for doctors and nurses in the UK to encourage more ‘homegrown’ medical staff.
Welcome news for Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt
It has been reported that both Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid, have been lobbying for this change. The cap was introduced by the Home Office in 2011 under Theresa May’s leadership.
In response to the confirmation of this new direction, Home Secretary Sajid Javid 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.
This is about finding a solution to increased demand and to support our essential national services.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
“Overseas staff have been a vital part of our NHS since its creation 70 years ago. Today’s news sends a clear message to nurses and doctors from around the world that the NHS welcomes and values their skills and dedication. It’s fantastic that patients will now benefit from the care of thousands more talented staff.
This builds on steps we have already taken to make sure the NHS has the staff it needs for the future – boosting training places for home-grown doctors and nurses by 25 per cent and giving over a million NHS employees a well-deserved pay rise.
Along with other top Immigration
solicitors in London, we welcome confirmation of this new approach detailed in the changes to the Immigration
Rules laid before Parliament today.
If you are a doctor or nurse hoping to take up a role in the UK under the Tier 2 skilled worker visa route, or an employing organisation in the health sector which will benefit from this change to the Immigration Rules and would like advice on how the changes will support your recruitment, and what you can do next, get in touch. You can book an appointment with one of our top UK Immigration lawyers by calling 0203 959 9123 today.