The government aims for a long term plan to be implemented for the NHS which will include doctors and nurses to be excluded from the cap on the number of skilled workers allowed to enter the UK for work.
This will ensure that there are no restrictions on the number of doctors and nurses who can be employed through the Tier 2 visa route. This will mean that there is a greater ability to recruit more international doctors and nurses to provide an outstanding level of patient care.
The cap started in 2011, allowing only 20,700 doctors and nurses annually. However, in recent months, there has been a high number of applications exceeding the monthly allocation of available places.
This demonstrates a greater demand for the NHS to employ doctors and nurses through immigration. It is estimated that around 40% of all Tier 2 places are made up from the NHS.
This will provide a boost to the NHS as well as free up hundreds of additional places a month within the cap for highly skilled occupations which include engineers, IT professionals, and teachers.
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.”
This exclusion of doctors and nurses from the cap comes as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care puts in place greater long terms measures to ensure the supply of domestic doctors can cope with the pressure of the NHS – this will also increase the number of training places.
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.”
The Tier 2 Cap formed part of the governments approach to controlling net migration and relates to certificates of sponsorship which are applied for by UK employers looking to bring in a non EU skilled worker.
The cap was set on advice of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and before 2017, had only been reached on one occasion. However, according to recent findings the cap has been reached every month since December 2017.
Once the cap is reached, places are scored using a point based system with top priority given to jobs on the short occupation list. The short occupation list includes medical professions and no role that is part of this list has ever been refused.
Director of Immigration Vicash Ramkissoon’s view:
The NHS is one of the largest employers in the UK, with a diverse workforce and it has been well documented that there are a number of skill shortages from nurses to doctors. This is a ‘rare’ welcome announcement from the Home Office and removes an additional hurdle facing many skilled medical professionals, which the UK dearly need if the NHS, celebrating its 70 anniversary is to last another 70 years.
Vicash Ramkissoon is Director of Business and Private Immigration in our Harrow branch. His practice encompasses including advising High Net Worth individuals under the Tier 1 category to conducting complex appeals in the Administrative Court on British Nationality matters. He has gained extensive experience on advising businesses on Tier 2 & 5 sponsorship, immigration strategy and conducting compliance audits.
Please contact Vicash directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3114 1105
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors is recognised by Legal 500 2017 for our "strong track record representing SME clients". As one of the UK’s leading firms of immigration specialists we are able to advise on business immigration and right to work in the UK, Tier-2 visa applications and appeals, student and graduate visas, spousal visas and visa overstays.
Our specialist business immigration solicitors will be able to advise businesses and individuals on any changes to UK immigration law during Brexit negotiations and after 29 March 2019, post-Brexit. Our broad practice provides a full service to SME business clients across the UK in relation to the Points Based System (PBS); Sponsorship license applications and immigration strategy/compliance advice.
For expert legal advice on international recruitment and UK business immigration law, call Duncan Lewis business immigration solicitors on 0333 772 0409.