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Doctors and nurses to be taken out of Tier 2 visa cap in UK

Staff Writer |
As part of a long-term government plan for the NHS, more details of which will be set out in due course, doctors and nurses are to be excluded from the cap on skilled worker visas.

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The move will mean there will be no restriction on the numbers of doctors and nurses who can be employed through the Tier 2 visa route – giving the ability to recruit more international doctors and nurses to provide outstanding patient care when required.

The Tier 2 visa route, which has had an annual cap of 20,700 since 2011, has in recent months seen the number of applications exceed the monthly allocation of available places.

This has been driven, in large part, by demand from the NHS, which accounts for around 40% of all Tier 2 places.

The change will be outlined in the Immigration Rules laid before Parliament today.

As well as providing a boost to the NHS, it will also free up hundreds of additional places a month within the cap for other highly skilled occupations, such as engineers, IT professionals and teachers.

The exclusion of doctors and nurses from the cap comes as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care puts in place long-term measures to increase the supply of domestic doctors – including increasing the number of training places.

The Tier 2 cap forms part of the government’s approach to controlling net migration. It relates to certificates of sponsorship which are applied for by UK employers looking to bring in non-EU skilled workers.

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