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Overseas doctors win with HSMP rule

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The United Kingdoms Department of Health recently released guidance that overseas doctors within the UK should not be interviewed for positions if their HSMP visa was set to expire past 01 August of 2007. The clause was retracted, however; mainly in response to efforts by Bapio Action Ltd. - a group formed by the British Association for Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) for the purpose of fighting the clause.

In a surprise move during proceedings, lawyers for the Secretary of State informed the court that they were prepared to concede - effectively handing BAPIO a win.

The subject of HSMP visas has been controversial of late, mainly due to changes to requirements that affect those applying for HSMP extensions as well as new applicants. If someone applying for an extension can not meet the new points-based requirements, they must leave the country after their visa expires.

However, if an applicant for extension fails to meet the new requirements, transitional arrangements have been put in place in which they can apply for another permit scheme during a grace period. Normal requirements such as job market needs analyses for such schemes would be waived.

14,716 applications for HSMP extensions were fielded in 2006, of which 14,109 were approved.


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