Without possible Sajid Javid reforms UK Tier 2 visa rules could stop 5,000 non-EU doctors working in Britain

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Sanwar Ali workpermit.com comment:

Sajid Javid the Home Secretary whose family is of muslim Pakistani ancestry has recently raised hopes that doctors from outside the EU will find it easier to gain entry to the UK under the tier 2 visa scheme. However, it is not certain what will happen after the intended tier 2 visa review. In addition, Theresa May the Prime Minister may only allow small changes in the tier 2 restricted CoS cap, and the changes may not benefit non-doctors.  Many employers with a tier 2 visa sponsorship licence cannot afford to bring in desperately needed staff.

For employers who do not meet the salary requirements for a restricted certificate of sponsorship other options may be to try and meet the requirements for the shortage occupation list, or apply for a tier 2 intra-company transfer or perhaps employ those who can switch to a tier 2 visa from within the UK such as tier 4 visa students.  In addition in some circumstances it may be worth considering the tier 1 entrepreneur visa or sole representative of overseas business visa.

It is interesting to note that the General Medical Council the GMC who have asked for an increase in the number of overseas doctors, and other regulators following a Supreme Court ruling, are now facing racial discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal.

Equality and Human Rights Commission Chief Executive Rebecca Hilsenrath said:

"Until now, medical and other professionals have been faced with uncertainty around whether discrimination complaints against bodies like the General Medical Council needed to go through judicial reviews or Employment Tribunals – and, as a result, some have been priced out of justice. After today’s ruling, those wanting to challenge qualification bodies like the GMC have a much easier and cheaper way of doing so..

The UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) expects that the number of non-EU doctors applying to work in Britain, will exceed 5,000 in 2018, representing a rise of 2,000 applications compared with 2017. However, Tier 2 visa rules could potentially scupper any opportunity for medical professionals to live and work in the UK.

Despite meeting strict GMC requirements to practice medicine in the UK, many doctors have denied entry into the country because of ‘draconian’ visa regulations. The GMC is backing an influx of non-EU doctors applying to work in Britain.

Meanwhile, the public body is urging the government to remove bureaucratic barriers preventing foreign trained doctors from working in equivalent roles in the UK. GMC assistant director Jane Durkin said: “The medical profession in the UK relies on the expertise of doctors from overseas.”

“Their contribution and the diversity of experience they bring are invaluable,” she added.

Skills of non-EU doctors

The GMC is responsible for evaluating the skills of non-EU doctors looking to join the UK medical council. The public body is planning to add new test dates at weekends to the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) exams. Additionally the GMC will provide workshops for foreign doctors to help them adapt to working in a new culture.

Since 2014, the number of international doctors taking the PLAB exam has doubled, increasing from the 1,728 tests taken four years ago. However, despite a rising number of applications and PLAB exams taken among foreign doctors, the GMC warned that there was a ‘long way to go to tackle continuing skills shortages.’

The GMC said that there is a massive shortfall in new doctors, exacerbated by a slump in the number of medical students at UK universities in recent years, plus a number of professionals opting to pursue flexible working or a career break.

Address UK visa barriers

The public body said the government must do more to ease UK immigration barriers, especially rules governing the Tier 2 visa scheme, which non-EU doctors need to work in the UK. The GMC’s comments come following a letter sent to UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, by British Medical Association (BMA) chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul.

In the letter, Nagpaul requested that the Home Secretary ‘step in to overturn the Home Office’s bid to eject a UK-educated GP trainee from the country.’

An online petition demanding the Home Office to halt moves to deport Dr Luke Anthony Ong, just months before he qualifies as a GP, has been signed by tens of thousands of people.

Nagpaul wrote in the letter that ‘failing to intervene would be incomprehensible given that the government is prepared to spend millions recruiting GPs from abroad.’

Meanwhile, the NHS is targeting the recruitment of thousands of General Practitioners (GPs) from overseas in an attempt to reach its target of hiring 5,000 extra GPs by 2020.

Workpermit.com can help with Tier 2 Visa Sponsorship Licences and Tier 2 Visas

If you need help with a Tier 2 visa, or a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence, including help with complying with your Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence obligations, workpermit.com can help.

More and more employers are facing sudden unannounced onsite inspections. Contact us for a copy of our free Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence Compliance guide.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0344 991 9222 or at london@workpermit.com