The British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has today announced that the immigration cap on overseas trained nurses (and doctors) wanting to work in the UK will be lifted to relieve the NHS.

According to the Government’s website “More highly skilled doctors and nurses will be able to come to the UK under plans announced by the Home Office today.”

The announcement says 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.

Responding to the announcement, the 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.”

Also commenting on the changes the 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.”

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