The Government is set to relax immigration rules to allow more skilled workers from outside the EU to enter the UK. The Home Office has confirmed that foreign doctors and nurses will be excluded from the government’s visa cap.
The proposed changes relate to Tier 2 visas, which are used by skilled workers from outside the EU. Currently, the cap sets a limit for all non-EU skilled workers at 20,700 people per year.
There has been concern that the current rules have been making it hard for the NHS to employ enough doctors and nurses.
In April, NHS bosses warned that immigration rules were hampering their ability to find workers after visas for 100 Indian doctors were refused. NHS England had 35,000 nurse vacancies and nearly 10,000 doctor posts unfilled in February this year.
The new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid hinted at the changes earlier this month and made a commitment to review the cap.
Commenting on the announcement, Lucy Allan said:
“I welcome this announcement by the Home Office which will allow more skilled workers, particularly doctors and nurses to come to the UK and make up the shortfall in staff in our NHS.
“This is exactly the type of immigration system I want to see after Brexit - a fairer and needs based system which contributes to our economy and our society and where the country of origin is irrelevant.’”